It’s not just a trend like so many in ecommerce but a fact; customers rule. It’s the way online retailers respond to customers that helps decide their fate and as the FT notes, this time it’s Boden opening physical stores:
The move underlines the need for purely online retailers to have a physical presence as customers demand the ability to buy online but pick up in a physical store. Some customers are deterred by the inability to try on clothes on and others drive up returns by buying more than one size to ensure the correct fit.
Read the full piece here, an excellent overview of the topic.