Vertical restraints in an online world – the consumer perspective

The retail landscape has evolved substantially over the last 10 years, in particular with the rise of online shopping and marketplaces. COVID-19 and the related closure of brick-and-mortar stores disrupted this gradual upward trajectory and accelerated the shift to online shopping and the acceptance of other online activities that was not expected for several years.1

Recent research suggests that the consumer's purchasing journey today is a ‘fluid omni-channel process’ where the consumer switches easily: (1) between online retailers and online platforms/marketplaces, (2) between brick-and-mortar stores and online stores, (3) between brick-and-mortar stores, and (4) between mono-brand and

Contributor Notes

Senior Advisor, Competition; Director of Legal and Economic Affairs; and Researcher, BEUC – The European Consumer Organisation.

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