An increasing number of online-only retailers in Australia are opening physical shops, according to a Commonwealth Bank Retail Insights Report. The report says that just under 20% of them are planning to establish high-street stores within the next 12 months, as a way of extending market reach. The Commonwealth Bank’s national manager of retail, Jerry Macey, has said that both online and physical businesses are looking towards omni-channel retailing. Macey also pointed out that “we have seen large online retailers such as Amazon unveil physical stores in the US”, whilst he said he expects this trend to “strengthen over the year ahead”. Meanwhile in the UK, research conducted by Verdict and British Land has revealed that 89% of all ecommerce sales ‘touched’ a physical store, an amount that equated to £278 billion. Ben Dimson, Head of Retail Business Development for British Land, has said that he expects to see “continued demand for physical stores from a variety of operators”, adding that online-only stores were looking into brick-and-mortar shops by “taking pop-up space or temporary units”. Dimson also said that this seemingly global trend was helping businesses generate online sales through the “halo effect”, and by “strengthening customer relationships”.