multi-channel shopping
n. The option to purchase a retailer's products in multiple ways, such as in a store, through a catalog, and online.
Initially, many retailers thought the Internet would mean decreased sales for their catalog operations.

"When you talk to brick-and-mortars, they think they're taking sales away from other areas of the company," Ms. Scheuer said. But the National Retail Federation's studies show that simply isn't true.

With companies that give customers more than one way to shop — or "multi-channel shopping" — each channel drives customers to the others.

"More than half of online shoppers bought something they saw in the catalog, and 27 percent looked for something online that they'd seen in the store," she said.

"Thirty-four percent of shoppers looked for something in the store that they had seen on the Web site."
—Jennifer Arend, “Local shoppers use Internet for gift ideas,” The Dallas Morning News, December 16, 2000
Ms. Reisman now regards consolidation as a reality of the marketplace. "Last year, they said the traditional retail model was dead," she said with a chuckle. "Now we realize the Web is a channel — it's neither a threat nor a saviour to traditional retail." Multi-channel shopping — offering consumers the option to shop online, by catalogue or at a retail outlet — is the new buzzword and Ms. Reisman uses it frequently.
—Hollie Shaw, “The concept that refused to die: Durability of stores surprises e-pioneer,” The National Post, October 04, 2000
1999 (earliest)
Addressing the long-term strategy of the company, West concluded, "Ultimately, consumers are going to recognize that a multi-channel shopping experience makes sense. If you can purchase furnishings on the web, many consumers will take that route and will be very happy. But being able to find authorized HomePoint dealers that provide the showrooms and furnishings where you can see and feel the products, and get the personal service … even more consumers will be satisfied."
—“HomePoint Corporation Unveils New E-Commerce Technology for Nationwide Furniture Distribution System,” PR Newswire, October 13, 1999
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