These Tech Stars’ Fortunes are Sapping Brick and Mortar Giants

Money FlamesWhile the traditional retail business may be in decline, popular tech companies like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) have brick-and-mortar stores doing better than ever. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) too is rumored to be opening its own retail stores by the end of 2013.

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“Google does not have as many products as Apple,” says Greg Sterling, senior analyst at Opus Research, “but it does have enough to justify a physical retail presence.” The company currently ranks fourth in the latest survey of corporate reputations conducted by Harris Interactive. The winners? Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Apple. Retailers like J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) and Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), however, are struggling. The former fell three spots to 37th place this year, while the latter dropped all the way to 41st.

According to analyst Bob Hetu of research firm Gartner, “Many of the retailers have gotten out of sync with consumers. They’re violating trust with their customers.” Despite the fact that stores like Best Buy offer price-matching if a lower price is found online, according to surveys, shoppers still overwhelmingly prefer to make online purchases. (Although to be fair, physical stores still account for the most purchases overall.) In some ways, price-matching offers seem like gimmicks, which in turn make those retailers seem even less trustworthy…