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\"RobinIt is no small irony that the same technologies that have disrupted and threaten to steal enormous share of market from brick and mortar retailers are now being used by these retailers not only to expand their business into e-commerce, but to potentially gain competitive advantage over the pure e-players by using these… tools to create awesome real world shopping experiences.

And sure enough, if those realworld experiences are compelling, they could very well steal more share from the pure e-commerce sites simply by being on two distribution platforms. Look at Apple, and witness the overwhelming real world experience Steve Jobs created. If you don’t know the productivity numbers by now, averaging $5600 a square foot, you’ve been living on Mars.

So, the old dinosaur brick and mortar guys have the opportunity to compete with pure players on their own field, and can “one up” them by creating an experience consumers can’t get online. And, herein lies an enormous challenge for the pure plays. They too must learn, as Jobs knew, that they must operate in the real world. Even global juggernaut Amazon is planning its first physical space in Portland.

And, Steve Jobs arguably started what I’m calling in our feature story the “Jobsian Era.” Indeed, it is upon us. We are on the leading edge of an era in which we will witness the convergence of the art and science of retailing, in which the winners will gain preemptive distribution, operating on all distribution platforms, both physical and online, and in which they will be providing overwhelming, “mind-connecting” (neurological), experiences in all distribution points (as outlined in our book: The New Rules of Retail).

Wake up, pure-plays! The brick and mortar guys are now playing in your space, but also ahead of you in the real world. What an irony.

Also in this issue, and consistent with the convergence of art and science, is our Q&A with Disney Stores President Jim Fielding, who is in the middle of transforming that shopping experience into the “best 30 minutes of a child’s day.”

Other articles include: Kurt Salmon’s view on the tremendous investment opportunity to be had in the teen retail sector, Cotton Incorporated’s Lifestyle Monitor™ insight on how to measure the success of sustainability programs, Warren Shoulberg on how retailers in the home space, with the exception of a particular superstar from Sweden, have completely ignored the tremendous global opportunity, and David Merrefield’s take on why supermarkets have had little luck getting consumers to use self-checkout.

Finally, we would be remiss to not bid adieu to our columnist Dana Wood, who has just been named Beauty Director of Brides magazine. Our loss is Conde Nast’s gain. Congratulations, Dana – we will miss you!

As always, have a great read, and let us hear from you.

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