There is a misconception that people are flocking from the malls to online shopping. Yes people are getting more comfortable purchasing online, without question. But there are exceptions to this trend. Have you ever wondered into a Mac store on a Saturday afternoon? At Christmas time I attempted to purchase an Ipod at the Mac store in Manhattan. There were security staff helping ensure people were able to negotiate the stairs safely going in and out of the store. Shopping at a Mac store is truly an experience better spent in the company of other "mac-ites". Asking the staff which is a better fit for your habits. Do I really need THIS much memory? When is the new (fill in blank here) coming out?
Think of it this way. Would you drive a car without test driving it first? You need to have your hands on the keyboard. You have to picture yourself in front of the laptop. Pick it up. Feel the weight, the smoothness of the case against your fingers. You get the picture.
And with a growing trend of fashion designers online, many still need to touch the fabric, see if the European sizing really is in line with North American equivalents.
We are far from declaring the "experiential" walk in experience dead. Long live retail.