Remember when the future of retail was online? Now it seems that online retailers have decided they can’t get by without bricks and mortar. Amazon raised eyebrows in November when it opened its first brick and mortar extension – a bookstore in Seattle’s University Village. The online giant’s rise, after all, is blamed for laying waste to independent bookshops across the country. But Amazon is only among the latest, if largest, e-commerce players to take a stab at traditional retail after starting life online. In the last few years, some 20 online companies in the US have launched a physical presence to better market their wares, forge closer customer relations, and yes, boost online traffic and sales. Amazon aside, these include mostly specialty and clothing stores such as Warby Parker, Bonobos, Birchbox and Casper. Read more at The Guardian.