To use a retail store to view and research a product and then purchase the product for less money online.
According to Codex Group, a book audience research firm in New York, people use their neighborhood stores as a form of literary dressing room: Try it on for size, but buy it elsewhere. It's a trend that shows no sign of abating, said Peter Hildick-Smith, president of Codex.
Earlier this year, his firm surveyed 5,067 book buyers from around the country about their buying habits and 28 percent said they "showroomed."
—Rosalind Bentley, "Bookstores losing browsers to Web," The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, December 17, 2011
As the last of what were once more than 500 Borders bookstores disappeared, along with hundreds of independents, Amazon helped to add a new word — "showrooming" — to the fast-evolving digital lexicon.
—John Barber, "Amazon's 'showrooming' tactic the latest to enrage booksellers," The Globe and Mail, December 23, 2011
Bookstore owners everywhere have a lurking suspicion: that the customers who type into their smartphones while browsing in the store, and then leave, are planning to buy the books online later — probably at a steep discount from the bookstores' archrival, Amazon.com.
Now a survey has confirmed that the practice, known among booksellers as showrooming, is not a figment of their imaginations.
—Julie Bosman, "Book Shopping in Stores, Then Buying Online," The New York Times, December 4, 2011