Reinventing Retail Sales

Can you name this corporate giant?

The corporate founder realized that everyone didn't have access to a shopping center or nearby store.  He wanted to sell products to people in a way convenient for THEM... not his store. 

Convenience is where your customers are; not your store.

He developed a way that customers didn't have to leave their homes to shop.  He came up with a method to take orders, fulfill them and send products directly to people by mail.  Can you name this corporation giant that reinvented sales?

If you said, "Amazon" you are WRONG! ...by about 100 years!  Sears, the company founded by Richard Warren Sears (later joined by Alvah Curtis Roebuck) founded in 1892 reinvented sales.  They published a catalogue and people all over the land could order items and have them shipped directly to their homes without the inconvenience of leaving their homes. For their day and age, it was cutting edge technology.

Amazon came much later and simply took the ordering, shipping and convenience to a new level using current technology.  Did they steal Sears and Roebuck's idea? No, they just reapplied it to a new retail age of shopping.

Recently I stayed in a Hilton Hotel in Edmonton, Alberta.  I was sent a code to use several days ahead of my stay. It asked me to download the Hilton app on my phone. Using the code and my account password, I was able to select my room before ever boarding the flight to Canada. Once onsite, I used my phone (and the app) to unlock my room each evening to enter... it had become my key. 

All Hilton has done is take the same idea that airlines use to allow passengers to select their seat before a trip and use the app to board the plane.

How can you take an old idea and reinvent the concept for today's consumer?