What's in Store.

Street retail grabs a new lifeline

For traditional retailers already besieged by online shopping, cell phones drive the nightmare scenario: brick-and-mortar stores reduced to showrooms where shoppers browse before pulling out their phones and punching in an order at, say, Amazon.com which offers same-day delivery in 10 cities. But phones may also give traditional stores a way to fight back. Here's what shoppers can expect:

BEEP, HERE'S A DEAL.

Retailers will push in-store offers customized by age, sex, purchase history and other data directly to consumers' phones. But smart sellers will tread carefully. "If shoppers are inundated with useless text messages trying to sell them things they...

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