It has been suggested that a handful of retail chains are today as critical to a brand's success as a handful of television networks used to be. Given the consolidation of retail and the concurrent fragmentation of media, it is a highly compelling observation. Wal-Mart alone attracts 100 million shoppers each day. Let's take a closer look at this idea. If a retail chain is like a television network, then a chain's retail stores are like the affiliates. As such, their success depends on a ...

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