UNITED STATES—This is a column I’ve wanted to do for quite some time, and with retailer Toys R’ Us shutting its doors, we have to discuss rather we could soon see the demise of large big box retailers. I have seen a lot of retail chains shut its doors during my lifetime. There were stores like Montgomery Ward, Mervyns, Circuit City, K-B Toys, Borders and so many more. And the question that I hear from people time and time again: what led to them closing? Was it because the prices were too high? Was it bad customer service? Tough competition?
Or perhaps, it boils down to the current trend that has taken over the nation as we kicked off the year 2000: online commerce. It’s hard to fathom that online shopping has really only been around for close to 20 years, but during that time frame, it has changed the landscape of retail as we know it. I will be the first to say it, I DO NOT DO ONLINE SHOPPING!
It has nothing to do with not wanting to do it, but as a consumer, I want to visually see and touch anything I purchase. On top of that the notion of having to wait several days for an item I purchased to come into the mail or to be delivered to me, doesn’t provide that instant gratification that most consumers get when they actually purchase something. Let’s throw another component into the mix: cyber theft. Yes, there are those people just waiting on the internet for the perfect opportunity to present itself so that they can steal your identity and credit card information.
It’s not the safest route when it comes to protecting your personal information and credit card information. People have no idea how quickly someone gathering your SSN or personal address or bank account information can absolutely destroy your life. The thought of someone having my information because I gave them the opportunity to do so by logging onto the internet (where we all know viruses, spyware and all other sorts of cyber technology can ruin a person’s day), is just plain stupid. I mean we’ve gotten everything we’ve needed for decades without a computer. Why should that change now?
I’ve come to the realization that some people are just lazy. Now understand this is NOT a personal attack on everyone who utilizes online shopping. I totally get the notion of wanting to shop online because you don’t have to worry about transportation to get from point A and to point B, not to mention some just want to avoid the crowds and bad customer service. However, with every pro, there is always a con. Like, the item(s) you ordered don’t arrive by the day and time you expected. That’s a bummer! In some situations you received the wrong item(s) in the mail. Now that is the worse because you have to repackage something, send it back and wait for the product you ordered to be delivered.
Oh, I’ve heard horror stories about receiving the wrong item in the mail and then having to endure constant hassle with the retailer to get the actual item repackaged and returned. For all those people that keep on touting Amazon, Amazon, screw Amazon! Yes, I said it, why are you so quick to continually load up the pockets of a man who is already a billionaire and looking to monopolize a company that can do it all? I mean anytime you have to pay to be a member of something that is an immediate no in my book. What I’m paying for your membership, I can utilize that money to purchase something else.
I’ve never been a person who is afraid to visit the big box retailer, and I will continue to do so until the day that I die. Yes, I have seen several malls and I mean several shut their doors during my lifetime. I like to interact with actual people, having conversations and just enjoy the notion of rewarding myself for a long week’s work, from buying a T-shirt, a pair of jeans, sneakers, or the latest tech gift I just have to have my hands on. Going to the big box retailers allows you to keep people employed. Do people not realize the more that you buy online the more jobs that go away? Yes, technology is taking over our lives, and if we’re not careful the notion of receiving customer service will cease to exist.
I mean things have gotten so bad, that you now even have grocery retailers offering food items to be delivered to their homes. I’m all for this for those who are disabled and unable to get to the supermarket on a weekly basis, but for those who have vehicles and are able to actually go to the supermarket, how lazy can you be? I mean I want to see my food. The person picking out your fruits, veggies, meat, dairy and other items might not be as picky as you when it comes to perfection.
When the day comes that I can no longer pick up groceries from an actual supermarket, is a terrible sign at how lazy our nation has truly become. And look at things this way, if everything transitions to online all the time, it limits are mobility. We no longer have to get up and move to get the things we want. We can just sit in a chair or on the couch and order and order away, while we pack on the pounds. The computer has made us lazy, we rely on it for everything, I kind of wish we returned to the good ole days were technology didn’t dictate and determine our lives. However, if we ever come to the day where the malls and big box retailers no longer exist and I have to rely on the internet to buy my goods, I think I’m going to be saving a ton of money.