Stories by Anne Stuart

E-Business Models: Clicks & Bricks Hook Up

Let's say you collect caps. Baseball caps, college team caps, sportswear brand-name caps, visors. You know that Lids, the hat specialty store in the mall, will give you one hat free for every seven you purchase. So you visit your nearest Lids store. You buy two. You hit the Lids in another mall. You pick up two more. But you still want three others that you couldn't find at either retail outlet. Not to mention the freebie.

E-business Models Case Files:

From the road,'s two-story red brick headquarters resembles any other office building on a strip-mall-studded thoroughfare west of Boston. Inside, it's a different story. The main entrance looks like the front porch of somebody's small-town home, complete with a wooden front door, a shuttered window set into vinyl siding, a mailbox on a post and an inviting hardwood rocker. Scattered among employees' cubicles, visitors might find a plush yellow armchair and footstool, a Leave It to Beaver-era dinette set, a French country breakfast table or a set of sleek Italian dining room chairs. Even the photocopy machine sits on a Colonial-style chest of drawers rather than a standard-issue filing cabinet. True to form, CEO Andrew Brooks says of the decor, "if we don't have nice furniture, who would?"

Formative Years

READER ROI READ THIS STORY TO * Track IT-inspired changes in two core businesses * Glimpse future developments of continuing trends