Online Shopping Gets Real

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Some e-retailers are shifting their strategies and deciding to open brick-and-mortar stores, hoping to lure customers who might not be comfortable purchasing a pair of shorts or eyeglasses without first trying them on. 

This week on New Tech City, WNYC's Ilya Marritz reports on companies like New York-based Warby Parker and Bonobos.  Like other e-retailers, they've decided to to open boutique showrooms in trendy neighborhoods in cities across the country, from Manhattan's Soho to San Francisco's Union Square.

According to Bonobos CFO Bryan Wolff, there's no shame in the new strategy. 

"That's the nature of a start-up. Sometimes you don't know what you're going to be when you grow up," he said. 

Plus, some service sector employers like retailers and restaurants are joining the digital age and forgoing the old-school paper application. Instead of making applicants sit in the corner and fill page after page by hand, businesses are handing out iPads loaded with user-friendly digital applications. 

New Tech City host Manoush Zomorodi visited the yogurt shop 16 Handles to talk with Adam Lewis, CEO of Apploi, a start-up that helps businesses make new hires with little more than an iPad.

"You saw in the June jobs report that out the 195,000 new jobs, 112,000 of those are in hospitality, leisure and retail. And why are still so many jobs open? One of the reasons I believe is that it's not easy enough to apply to these jobs," he said. 

This is an extended podcast of New Tech City. You can listen to the broadcast version every Wednesday morning at 5:50 and 7:50 a.m. on WNYC 93.9 FM, AM 820 and New Jersey Public Radio or subscribe to the program on iTunes.