Brick-and-mortar retailers can compete against Amazon, but only if they play it smart.
First, be really good with a narrow range of merchandise. Specialty stores match up better against stores carrying a wide range of goods that they don’t specialize in, which is why department stores struggle. In fact, some specialty sellers, such as eyewear purveyor Warby Parker, first succeeded online and now are setting up in brick-and-mortar stores. Specialized businesses can better offer the personalized service and advice that create repeat customers. Avoid private label products. Sell both online and in-store. Incentivize in-store pickup — where online customers may purchase additional items in the process.