An age of online shopping has, surprisingly, led to an exciting time for shoppers to get back out onto city streets to explore new, innovative shops. Companies of all sizes that once sold primarily through multibrand retailers are building on their experience running online stores by opening direct-to-consumer brick-and-mortar locations. Established retailers are shifting their focus from basic transactions to offering compelling brand experiences and higher levels of personal service. Design stores that once catered to professionals are welcoming independent consumers, as Houzz, Pinterest and Instagram give rise to a legion of do-it-yourself decorators. And even companies that started as online-only enterprises are increasingly opening physical stores. To understand why, just follow the money.
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THE NEW YORK TIMES 11/10/2016