It's neither. The vast differences in operating expenses and purchasing power account for the differences in price. The problem is with those who showcase items before purchasing. This is the consumer that will cry to high heaven when he can't personally inspect product before buying online, when the online retailers run the brick and mortar stores out of business.
If you want to buy online, fine. I buy a lot online myself. However, if I go to Best Buy and eat up an hour of the sales guy's time, I recognize that as a service, and I'll buy the product there if I want it. Sadly many don't grasp that.
The bookstore has unsustainable overhead in the form of retail locations and retail employees. Walmart and Target are not carrying the Kindle because they don’t want to contribute to their own demise. Amazon has the new business model that works for consumer goods.
They are leaching off of the retail infrastructure in the form of show rooming. Retailers should respond by blocking the cell signals in their stores...not facilitating it.
Consumers can now effectively shop nationwide at any time which does a lot to destroy the profit model. Some people might think “what’s the big deal, so a few CEO’s have to drink a few less bottles of Dom”... the reality is that those profits are crucial in down markets.
Retailers are responding by lobbying Congress to enforce internet taxes on online retailers. This will swing the pendulum back the other way for a little while, but the reality is that the age of the American retailer is largely over.
Big box / distribution giants like Walmart will sell everything. Because the individual consumer will no longer pay $50 for something they can get in digital for $25, those jobs are going to get displaced. Those people will have to work somewhere down the line or become wards of the state...long story short, you are going to pay for them one way or the other...sorry for the rant.