celgins - 5:42 pm on Dec 19, 2010 (gmt 0)
IMO, the bottom-line is this: Consumers, now more than ever, have a wealth of tools available to help them find the best prices for any given product. Given the following:
Convenience: ("I'm standing in the electronics store right now, so even though I could save $20 if I purchase it somewhere else, I'll buy it now.")
Impulse: ("Yes, baby! This is the coolest thing ever, and I'm buying it." (without checking alternatives))
Loyalty: ("I've been coming to Widget-Store for years, and even though it may be cheaper elsewhere, I'm sticking with this store.")
Comfort: ("I know the price could be cheaper online, but I prefer the service of a B&M store. I want headache-free, customer service and support when, and if, I need it.)
Branding: ("I know that I can trust the huge, nationally recognized Widget-Store. It's been around for ages and with 10,000 stores, I feel more comfortable buying from them.)
I think all of these can change when/if the price differences are greater than 10%-20%.