Free From Convention: Editor’s Letter, September 2012



I didn’t expect to find a key to the future of retail in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, when I spent two weeks vacationing there in July, but nevertheless, there it was, free for the taking. I could walk through the city’s perfectly preserved Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, or enjoy a coffee at any number of outdoor cafés while emailing away on my phone without racking up a single roaming charge. Free Wi-Fi in Vilnius is that ubiquitous.Information, as they say, wants to be free—and even though it may seem counterintuitive for a business owner to offer a customer unfettered online access to information about pricing and competitors, “experts agree that keeping your store vital in the digital retail age means implementing a business strategy that relies on in-store and online technologies working in tandem with one another.”That’s one of the fascinating conclusion
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