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10 Bricks-and-Mortar Stores That Beat Online

7. High-end retailers
The high-end apparel retailer is another category suited for bricks-and-mortar -- again because customers typically look for personal service.

"Their penetration of online sales vs. overall sales is much lower than other industries," says Andy Stevenson, e-commerce expert with Chief Outsiders, an executive marketing organization that connects chief marketing officers to growth and midsize companies on a part-time basis.

Consumers "want to know it's the right watch for them," for instance, Stevenson says.

"There is always the risk of purchasing online, and typically the risk of purchasing on online is 'Will it look good and fit right, and can I trust the company I am working with?' That dictates what categories may or might not succeed online," he adds.

Yet to be seen: The success of J. Hilburn, an online men's shop that sends representatives to homes or offices to take measurements and show fabric and style choices. Last month, another round of venture capital fundraising gave the company $13 million to burn in taking on the shop down the street.

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