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BizReport : Ecommerce : March 14, 2007


Are webfronts the new storefronts?

A new clothing company may change the way consumers think about shopping online and at the mall. That is, if consumers can wait.

by Kristina Knight

Nau, a green activewear company, is launching several webfronts this month in the hopes the consumers will change the way they think about shopping. The webfronts will be in local malls and will allow consumers to try on different clothing to figure out the right sizes and styles for their body, but that is where the traditional shopping experience ends.

Nau creates their line of clothing from recycled materials and the line itself is also recyclable. Rather than picking up a tee shirt or pair of shorts from a rack and taking them to the check-out register, Nau customers will order what they want online from web kiosks and the purchases will be delivered by mail in a few days.

Online shopping brought in more than $563 million in 2006, with toys and books leading the way. Clothing is also a favorite of online shoppers, but many have balked at ordering online because of sizing issues. Nau's solution to try things on and then order may change that.

The company has said that they want to operate kiosks rather than full-fledged stores because of the cost and energy savings. If it works, it could change the way e-tailers look at traditional storefronts. However, to get to that point, they will first have to convince want-it-now clothing shoppers that waiting for delivery is worth the price tag.






Tags: e-commerce, online retailing, online shopping








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