Bravo and a big thank you for Jim Hightower's and Judith Davidoff's articles about how Amazon, "showrooming" and shopping online affect local retailers ("Amazon Attacks," 9/25/2014).
My husband owns a small business in Madison, and showrooming is definitely hurting his business. We are astounded when people walk into the shop (or call on the phone), pick the staff's brains for what is the best product for them, look at the actual product then proceed to buy it online.
Brick-and-mortar shops, which have experienced staff with years of training and vast knowledge about their business and their products, are not here to help people to shop elsewhere online. This is their livelihood. They have families to care for. They are your neighbors, live in your communities, very often contribute to local causes and enrich the community by providing a pleasant place to go and to interact with real people.
You have to consider what you stand to lose by saving a few bucks online. If you appreciate the existence of interesting local shops in Madison, shop there. You may (or may not, actually) pay a little more, but you are investing in your community.