What does the future of retailing look like?   Tim Lehan, operator of his family’s 66-year-old medical supply business in DeKalb, is Illinois’ retailer of the year, named by the Illinois Retail Merchants Association. He sees co-existence between stores big and small.
“I think the big boxes are gonna have a big impact on the retail marketplace in the years to come, but that also opens up the opportunity for let’s say a mom-and-pop shop to open up and fill those voids that they (big boxes) can’t deliver on, and there are a lot of things that big box stores cannot deliver on,” he said.  He wonders why the big stores don’t offer more help for customers on the floor, because he says it drives sales in his business.
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Lehan Pharmacy was founded in 1946 as a typical drug store with a lunch counter, but it transitioned over the years to a medical supply business that no longer sells candy bars.
On other issues:
  • He supports the association’s goal to see legislation enacted that would require on-line retailers to collect sales tax, the same way in-person retailers must.
  • On the issue of on-line businesses using in-person stores as a showroom – a problem that Best Buy has identified as a reason for its struggles – Lehan does not have an answer.
(Copyright WBGZ / www.AltonDailyNews.com )