Here’s why flagship stores for retailers like Apple and Starbucks have become tourist attractions

Apple’s senior vice president of retail Angela Ahrendts said its stores will become “town squares.”

It’s common for people to plan vacations to pay a visit to world sites like the Eiffel Tower, the Tower of London or the Statue of Liberty.

Some carve out time to visit an Apple Inc. AAPL, -0.98% store. And perhaps more will do so now that they’re “town squares.”

Retailers of all kinds are trying to make their bricks-and-mortar locations more appealing to shoppers to drive traffic through the doors. At a time when companies like Amazon.com Inc. AMZN, -0.99% have made e-commerce the most convenient way to shop, retailers aim to make the hands-on experience of going to a store worth the trip.

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