How Retailers Are Taking On the Internet


1 Brick-and-mortar stores increasingly offer exclusive merchandise — Liz Claiborne suits at J. C. Penney or Jennifer Lopez dresses at Kohl’s. The brands can’t be found online.

2 Traditional retailers such as Wal-Mart are lobbying state legislatures to collect sales taxes on online purchases, leveling the playing field with Internet rivals like

3 To reduce “showrooming,” or testing a product at a store then buying it online, Target puts unique barcodes on packaging that smartphones can’t easily use to compare prices.

4 Merchants including Sam’s Club and Best Buy offer instore pickup of online purchases. Bloomingdale’s and J. Crew are among those allowing in-store returns for their Web orders.

5 Macy’s puts on live events, such as visits by Beyoncé and Madonna. Williams-Sonoma holds in-store cooking classes. Not so easy to replicate in the virtual world.

6 Target and Wal-Mart frequently offer unique bonus content on DVDs and music CDs sold at their stores — and absent from discs sold by online competitors.

7 Brick-and-mortar stalwarts like Best Buy and Barnes & Noble use rewards programs to entice consumers to continue purchasing from their stores, rather than shop online.


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