Are Everywhere Stores the New Face of Retail?

Omnichannel retailers can extend their customer engagement and logistics capabilities via nontraditional sales and fulfillment locations.

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Nearly 30 years ago, a fledgling startup called Amazon made its first online sale, and a retail revolution began. Dubbed “the Everything Store” by Brad Stone in his book of the same name, Amazon leveraged digital technologies to expand the very nature of retail, demonstrating that selling physical goods no longer required a physical storefront.

But today, the cornerstone of retailing — location — has expanded once again, and the advent of what we call everywhere stores is impacting omnichannel strategy and unlocking potential value for new entrants and incumbents alike.

Retailing excellence demands optimal engagement with customers through experiences, paired with product fulfillment with minimal friction, and historically both have happened in stores. Everywhere store refers to a new kind of retail experience, in which customer engagement and product fulfillment occur in native environments — that is, they are not dependent on purpose-built stores or warehouses. They allow brands and retailers to think much more expansively about where customer interactions should take place and where inventory should be located.

What Omnichannel Looks Like Now

Omnichannel retail comprises four distinct approaches to customer engagement and fulfillment: traditional retail stores; online sales plus physical showrooms where customers can engage with products; online sales with in-store pickup; and pure-play e-commerce, in which both fulfillment and engagement occur online.

Today, traditional retail through stores still accounts for more than 80% of sales in the U.S.1 Of course, the percentage varies substantially by product type: Less-complex goods that can easily be described online align well with e-commerce, whereas products that consumers prefer to see and touch before buying, such as espresso machines and grills, might benefit from display space and thus lend themselves to some form of offline shopping experience.

Hybrid models use digital for one function, physical for the other. For traditional retailers that predate the introduction of e-commerce, “buy online, pick up in store” is a must-have — and yields the added benefit that customers who pick up their purchases at a retail location might make incremental purchases of other products when they visit.2

For direct-to-consumer retailers especially, showrooms such as Warby Parker’s stores and Bonobos’s Guideshops increase brand awareness and allow customers to inspect products or try them on before buying. They excel in serving first-time customers and those with more complex needs.



1.In-Store and E-Commerce Retail Sales Share in the United States From 2022 to 2026,” Statista, accessed Nov. 2, 2023,

2. S. Gallino and A. Moreno, “Integration of Online and Offline Channels in Retail: The Impact of Sharing Reliable Inventory Availability Information,” Management Science 60, no. 6 (June 2014): 1434-1451.

3. D.R. Bell, S. Gallino, and A. Moreno, “Offline Showrooms in Omnichannel Retail: Demand and Operational Benefits,” Management Science 64, no. 4 (April 2018): 1629-1651.

4. C. Shu, “Backed by Accel, Minoan Experience Is Creating a New Category of E-Commerce Called ‘Native Retail,’” TechCrunch, Feb. 17, 2022,

5. Ibid.

6. A. Cruz Garcia, “Chilean Ecommerce Fulfillment Startup Wareclouds Nabs $1.2M,” LatamList, Nov. 2, 2022,

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