I've heard of complaints that people use stores as showrooms and then buy online. The problem is that I will go and check prices at stores and online, and then buy it from where it is the cheapest. I will even admit that the cheapest usually is online, even with shipping sometimes.
If more stores had a slightly broader price matching policy, then more people would buy it from the stores.
"Oh most stores do that nowadays," I hear apologists say.
Not necessarily; price matching doesn't always happen. A lot of the stores I go to, demand that the price match be from a direct competitor. So I still end up going to a "non competitor" store that still sells the thing I want for cheaper, and give my money to them.
Even though it sucks to be a retail slave when the customers are trying to save money, it also sucks to have a manager look you in the eye and tell you that the ad you have in your hand doesn't belong to a company they price match with.
Okay, but it actually is worth the gas to save money by going two miles down the street, you know. I'll spend far less than one gallon to drive that short distance and save myself $10 or more. I may be show rooming, but you're losing the sale anyway due to the policies of your business. If it was cheaper here, I'd buy it here.