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Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail.

Outdoor gear and apparel retailer REI was one of the early pioneers in the e-commerce industry, launching its first website in 1996. That online experience has changed quite a bit in the nearly 20 years since its launch, but one thing remains the same: the company continues to try to provide its members (it's a co-op) the best shopping experience possible. In a keynote presentation yesterday at the Shop.org Annual Summit in Seattle, REI's President and CEO Jerry Stritzke, as well as its Senior Vice President of Digital Retail Brad Brown discussed how REI is evolving its digital properties into the 21st century flagship store.

Birchbox recently opened up its first retail store in New York City. The beauty e-commerce startup is known for its subscription service, where customers pay $10 per month to receive a box of product samples. The company has attracted more than 800,000 users since launching in 2010, but only around 30 percent of those subscriptions translate into full-product online sales from Birchbox.com. Its new store is an attempt to figure out why

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