In this paper, we empirically investigate how store-based retailers in different urban settings responded to the emergence of the Internet as a channel for commerce, using the example of Dutch city centers. In particular, we examine the extent to which the adoption of an information-only and online sales strategy is influenced by the size of the city (in terms of population) and the attractiveness of its central shopping location (the city center). We also explore the extent to which click-and-mortar (CAM) retailers in city centers actively promote their website in their physical outlets. The results indicate that the majority of Dutch city-center retailers have already established a Web presence. However, the likelihood of adoption largely varies among city centers. In general, city-center retailers in large cities are more likely to follow a CAM strategy than their counterparts in smaller cities. With regard to city-center attractiveness, shops in highly attractive localities are most inclined to adopt a CAM strategy. City-center retailers already actively promote their website in their retail outlets. This applies especially to stores in small cities with a moderately attractive core, and which belong to large corporate chains with an online sales strategy. Thus, the Internet has become increasingly embedded within the traditional retail environment of the Dutch city center. However, this diffusion process seems to vary from city to city, depending on the size of the city and the quality of its core.
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