Once Proudly Web Only, Shopping Sites Hang Out Real Shingles

After years of criticizing physical stores as relics, even e-commerce zealots are acknowledging there is something to a bricks-and-mortar location. EBay and Etsy are testing temporary stores, while Piperlime, the Gap Inc. unit that was online-only for six years, opened a SoHo store this fall. Bonobos plans to keep opening stores, and Warby Parker, the eyeglass brand, will soon open a physical location. The companies say they are catering to customers who want to see what they are buying in person, and who see shopping as a social event.

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