Are bookstores really going to disappear? I don’t think so.
The real question is, how these stores are going to change their model and ensure “showrooming” is used to their advantage?
Chapters/Indigo is doing an OK job of doing this. They are definitely downsizing (in terms of size of retail stores and amount of retail stores). They offer discounts for products that are ordered online (so if you don’t need it right away you can save, if you want to pick up in store you will pay a premium).
What would be more interesting to me would be if the salespeople actually helped you along this path. If the salespeople would speak with the customers about what they are reading, provide recommendations based on their knowledge and then give then an option to buy in store now OR get shipped directly to your house at a later date (for a slightly lower price, of course).
I think people value this customer interaction and personalized recommendation. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Amazon is going away. But I do think that other retailers can claw back some of their market share with a better strategy.