- January 1, 2013: Vol. 25, Number 1

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It’s Just a Click Away: E-Commerce Is a Death Sentence for Some Retailers, but Others Find Salvation in Omni-channel Strategies

by Susan Fornoff

Let’s fantasize for a moment that e-commerce in the United States will continue to grow 10 percent to 15 percent a year and eventually bulldoze brick-and-mortar retail.

In this fantasy, computer renderings of ourselves model couture on our tablets. We go online to order shoes by the half-dozen, returning the ones that tweak our toes or bruise our bunions. And when we need toilet paper, we just ask our smart phones to reorder our brand, which is delivered in a matter of hours.

In this fantasy, the institutional real estate investor confidently places his or her bets on what today we call industrial real estate but has morphed into the only retail real estate in play — warehouses and distribution centers.

The reality is so much more complicated.

“I remember 15 years ago, you’d go to ICSC meetings and people were saying doom and gloom: the Internet was going to kill retail,” says

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