What may be the first-ever retail store to offer nothing but online shopping has opened in Santa Monica, Calif. Virtual Emporium
(vemporium.com), a 2,500-square-foot storefront in Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade shopping area, offers nothing but 30 Gateway 2000 computers connected to 80 online retailers. Users go online and, with the help of on-premises cybersalesmen, make purchases from participating retailers including 1-800-FLOWERS, Amazon.com, Garden Escape and others. Virtual Emporium will also offer selected merchandise available immediately inside the store. There's no charge to shop online; the store is funded by its online partners.
Copyright November 1996, Crain Communications Inc.