Are brick and mortar stores slowly becoming showrooms?

by Karen Kritzer & Diane Spiridoulias

Most retailers are aware of the retail movement known as showrooming: customers visit a store to examine a product before buying it online at a lower price. Showrooming is one of the most consequential consumer behaviour’s a retailer can observe and some are even taking advantage of this practice. These retailers have reimagined the in-store problem and turned that problem into a solution. By understanding the behaviour of their customer and transforming it through in-store creative experiences and entertainment.


A fantastic example of this would be how Tesco eased the grocery shopping stress of rushed customers by making the grocery store more accessible. They took a progressive leap by bringing Home Plus to South Korea customers in the subway system of all places. Home Plus allows customers to shop while they wait for their train by using a mobile app to scan QR codes. Their orders are then delivered and waiting for them when they arrive at home.

Another fantastic showrooming example is Best Buy. Instead of becoming Amazon’s so-called testing ground, Best Buy used the customer’s showrooming behaviour to create an actual Best Buy showroom. In addition, they implemented strategies like price matching that converted more shoppers into buyers.

Tesco Home Plus (pictured above)

Customer retention is the key. Now more than ever it’s important to develop a long-term relationship with customers to bring them back into the store. Brick and mortar stores are not at risk of extinction as customers still desire a tangible and immersive brand experience.


Karen Kritzer of Organized & Stylish is a freelance visual merchandiser with over 12 years of retail experience. As a small business owner and freelance visual merchandiser, Karen can relate to the everyday challenges that retailers are faced with. The 12 years of experience she has with various top name brands and small independent retailers allow Karen to create unique action plans that achieve results for her clients.



Diane Spiridoulias is a passionate professor at Sheridan College, art director/designer with 18 years of professional experience – from managing in-house creative teams and day-to-day creative marketing operations within the beauty and fashion retail sector, to developing external client relationships, graphic design, idea generation, illustration, styling, photography and art direction.