Bookstore owners everywhere have a lurking suspicion: that the customers who type into their smartphones while browsing in the store, and then leave, are planning to buy the books online later.
Now a survey has confirmed that the practice, known among booksellers as showrooming, is not a figment of their imaginations.
Showrooming is something I've done. I go into a shop to browse. I can see, touch and try out products but then go home and buy them online at a knock-down price. I'm not alone in doing this. Research by a company called Foolproof, found 24% of people showroomed while Christmas shopping in 2012.