"We can get products out in front of customers before brick and mortar and we also don't have the huge financial disadvantage of clearing out."
But back in 1995, Cunningham admits that he didn't exactly predict the scope of e-commerce quite so accurately. "Then, I'd say that brick and mortar had nothing to fear, that the internet will never replace touch and feel," he recalls. "I was wrong in not thinking about it from a customer's perspective." He says that while he still believes that the traditional retail model isn't about to become obsolete any time soon, he has revised his opinion that internet companies can't vigorously compete, saying that the customization of the shopping experience online proves that a customer can conceivably get plenty of information by logging on. "Plus," he says, "they can compare prices from several merchants at once."
Truth from Fiction