Retailers facing tenuous consumer sentiment this holiday shopping season are going on the offensive against "showrooming" – shoppers checking out merchandise in the store, then buying elsewhere online to save a few bucks.
"They're trying to make the brick-and-mortar store more exciting for people to come in," said Oliver Wintermantel, analyst at International Strategy & Investment, noting that retailers of all types are joining the effort. "It really is across the board," he said.
In what's become a year-round initiative, retailers sell related services such as pet superstores offering grooming and boarding or hold in-store events, like classes at sporting-goods chains on how to use hunting or camping gear. Wintermantel said retailers also are taking advantage of the same technology that facilitates showrooming in the first place, by sending location-based promotions to shoppers' mobile devices.