SAN FRANCISCO-The Internet and brick-and-mortar stores once were viewed as mutually exclusive, if not adversaries, but now the virtual and physical realms are finding ways of co-existing to mutual benefit. “There’s a really interesting wave of concepts coming out, where although it may be a retail storefront, there’s a tie or connection to social media and getting the buzz out there faster,” Anjee Solanki, national director, retail services with Colliers International, tells “Hence, we’re looking at new concepts to test at our retail projects.”

As a case in point, she cites Blink Inc., currently undergoing a soft launch at Corte Madera Town Center in the Marin County community of Corte Madera. “It’s a retail storefront that allows customers to come in for a 10-minute photo shoot: with family, friends or by themselves, for any occasion, or perhaps they’ve just bought a product within the project,” Solanki explains. “Within minutes, they receive a URL link that will take them to their photos. They can then pick and choose and buy either the entire 150 shots or their favorite shots, for a very affordable price.” The customer is then able to put the images on Twitter or Facebook.

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