May 31, 2011, 5:05 PM

Follow the money

(Page 3 of 3)

One by one, top executives at major chains have assured investors and analysts that they realize mobile and e-commerce must tie into their bricks-and-mortar strategies.

"We believe it will be just a few short years before customers walk into the store, scan a product to learn about it or locate a size or color, perhaps share the product with a friend or read a review, then walk out of the store with a product in hand, automatically charged to the account that links with their mobile device," said Urban Outfitters CEO Glen Senk at a recent investor conference. "Our goal is to stay ahead of the consumer—ahead of what we believe is a paradigm shift in the way people are shopping."

Now that Senk and his peers have recognized the paradigm shift, they have to show they can turn it to their advantage.

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