anallawalla - 11:59 pm on Dec 18, 2010 (gmt 0)
I'd tell them that I wouldn't stock any of their products unless they made certain models only available to B&M retailers.
Do the laws in your country permit this? In Australia you'd trip one or more consumer protection laws.
An in-store shopper can still compare prices with another B&M store, esp electronics items.
B&M stores can compete in certain lines of products by offering something extra (but trivial from their viewpoint), e.g. We'll install your SIM in your new phone; set up a geek desk on a Saturday afternoon to help with your new PC, etc.
I see some of this during a regular ritual during my US visits. I have a $16 T-Mobile phone (from the dear departed Circuit City) with a US number that keeps alive as long as I start with a $100 prepaid deposit and add a $10 credit once a year. This makes it easy for my US contacts to store a fixed number to reach me during my next stay.
Invariably, if I buy the refill at an island outlet in a mall, I am given a printout with a code to type into the phone. If I go to a branded T-Mobile store there are more clerks with time to spare and they invariably punch in the code for me and save me the trouble. Hence I am more likely to go to such a store if I were a non-techy local and needed my next phone.
Of course, my main phone is an iPhone and AFAIK these are only sold in B&M telco stores in Australia with a plan. I can only get an unlocked iPhone from Apple. Apple controls prices very tightly, so comparison shopping isn't possible except for after-market add-ons.
At present Aussie retailers are annoyed that we tend to order online from China and Hong Kong, hence we avoid GST (like VAT in the UK). They want Internet transactions to be taxed. Luckily the politicians aren't buying any of this.
Article: [theaustralian.com.au ]