My most recent purchases (last month) were leather trousers (with armour) +kevlar jeans.
I researched brands, prices & sizes online.
I then went to a couple of big name bike stores & had 2 very different experiences:
1/ He*******ke - absolutely appalling "service". I was reluctantly served & offered 3 pairs of leathers despite 2 of them being about £100 more than my stated budget. I was left to carry all 3 pairs to the changing room (quite a heavy load) & after trying them on was offered no advice or help - just buy some or not basically. No offer to check stock lines, just come back in a few weeks - I won't!
2/ Y***ha - nothing to suit me but the assistant broke away from a £500 sale to offer assistance & apologise for wait. He kindly looked through numerous catalogues & offered to order in for me. He also suggested I check out the brand online as I might get a better deal.
I then went to my favourite local dealer. The boss was busy with paperwork but said hi & I was immediately offered help by his assistant. I tried on quite a few pairs but nothing quite suited. The boss even phoned a supplier who had recently bought a huge stock from a liquidated giant (G**** W****) to see if he had anything. When this failed they suggested I visit another small rival business locally.
So off I went down the road. Here I managed to find 3 pairs that suited! After some negotiations I bought leather + a pair of kevlar jeans saving a total of £70 from the ticket prices!
So YES I will continue to shop locally. I could have spent a lot of money online & not been happy with the sizing. That said as a research tool the tinternet is very useful.