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Bloomberg has an interesting piece about how upscale housewares retailer Williams-Sonoma is combatting "showrooming," the practice of going into the store and using one's smartphone to find out if featured products can be bought online for less.

The story says that "while the practice typically afflicts chains such as Best Buy that sell commodity products, Williams-Sonoma was long immune because it fielded exclusive merchandise. Now a host of rivals from Web upstarts like Cutlery and More LLC to entrenched players such as Macy's and sell much of the same gear for less as they tussle over a market worth about $12.3 billion." Now, the company "is introducing more proprietary products, including rapid-boiling pots and iPhone- connected cooking thermometers; pricing goods more competitively; and adding cooking classes to make Williams-Sonoma a foodie destination once again."
KC's View:
Maybe it is just me, but I've always seen Williams-Sonoma as being kind of precious, while Sur la Table has a kind of vitality that is much more attractive and enticing. Now, it sounds like Williams-Sonoma has gotten the message...