I strongly recommend reading this article - Clicks & mortar - penned by the great Kate Legge, as published in The Weekend Australian Magazine.
An interesting discussion of some of the (many & varied) issues challenging retail, both online and traditional bricks&mortar channels. The point about the sting of tax imbalance is poignant - but scarily the last thing on most consumers' minds - and I was, quite frankly, shocked to read about the girl who isn't above buying something from a large online retailer, trying it on, then returning it and buying from ANOTHER online retailer for some menial price difference (of course I'm well aware that people do that in stores - I certainly saw it occur when I worked in retail, and it bloody hurt. You end up standing alone in your beautiful boutique, holding a beautiful thing that is smudged with fake tan, stunned expression on your face - and the worst part is that when you actually think about the cost of design, pattern making, sampling, fabric, manufacturing, embellishment, packaging, transport, logistics, rent, signage, the coat hanger & your own wage it barely adds up) but seriously, WHAT THE HELL?! All that pfaffing around! Who has that much time to go to the post office? Well guess what, girl? If you keep doing that you'll find that you won't have the privilege of free shipping forever, because somewhere along the line someone has to pay for the courier...nyerrrr (wow, I've got the hard-hitting combacks right here).
I love the anecdote about Russell Zimmermann having to buy new pants before his meeting.
And I'd really like to meet Megan Quinn.
ETA: It seems the article is actually behind a paywall...to save me writing it out word for word from my copy of the paper I am going suggest that you *ehem* googleit.