The Economist writes that traditional retailers are turning out to be the big winners online.
With huge economies of scale it is hardly surprising that giants such as Wal-Mart often emerge as the vendor offering the cheapest prices. Besides attracting an online purchase, shopping-comparison searches can also be used by ordinary retailers as a relatively cheap way to advertise and attract consumers to their physical stores.
The traditional retailers are finding many other advantages in expanding their stores online. One is that in cyberspace, even the biggest supercentre is unconstrained by planning laws or dogged by protests, as Wal-Mart often is when it tries to expand offline. Both Wal-Mart and Target also use the web to test the market for certain products before they send them to their stores.