I'm glad that some of the stores are re-opening. There are definite advantages to bricks and mortar stores. I bought both my A100 and A700 from Jessops' branches. I try and use real stores when I can as I don't want to have to rely on internet stores and YouTube review videos
. As Mike and others have said; there are some things that really benefit from getting your hands on something.
This week I wanted to buy a small camera bag for my Nex kit. I wanted a bag as small as possible, but big enough for what I wanted to carry. Easy enough to get an idea of what might be ok online, but not the same as being able to try the real thing. I drove the 30+ miles to Morris Photographic in Chipping Norton (Oxfordshire) and the staff there were patient enough to let me try half a dozen bags to find the optimum one. (I took the large items, camera and lenses, with me and tried them for size.) Sure, the thought of returning home and buying the bag over the internet crossed my mind, but I didn't. I decided that the service was worth the extra I might be paying. (As it turned out Morris have this bag cheaper than any one else in the UK anyway
. ) Morris are not a proper high street store, they are located in a small industrial estate, and I think they do the majority of their business online, but they do have a shop front.
I guess that, if we want the advantages of seeing and holding something in person, we need to support these dwindling oases of photographic retail.
Nex 5, Nex 6 (IR), A7M2, A99 and a bunch of lenses.