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home : opinions : our views July 22, 2017

4/26/2017 1:25:00 PM
Online shopping is a sham
Brooke Bechen
Reporter/News and Features

I've never really understood all the hype surrounding online shopping.
You find something online (probably something you don't even need). You punch in your credit card number. You wait for it to come in the mail. (And you paid extra for priority shipping and it still isn't here!)
You cut open the box and find out the shirt you ordered doesn't fit. Or the kitchen accessory you ordered is some cheaply made piece of garbage (only because you didn't read the reviews or comments about the product online). You send it back. You get something else. And the process repeats itself.
Maybe it's because I've always been one of those people that prefers going into a physical store. I like talking to an actual person if I need help finding something. I like browsing the aisles of physical products - not just looking at a photo I can click while shopping online.
By holding a physical product in my hands and looking at it closely with my eyes, I can learn a lot about the quality of the product. By trying on a pair of shoes at a store, I can tell if they are going to fit and if they will look good on me.
But so many of us like to click, click. So many that a dozen retail stores have recently announced they are closing some of their brick-and-mortar locations. Pat yourself on the backs, folks!
Retail companies closing stores in 2017 include:
*Rue21 (closing 400 stores);
*JCPenney (closing 138 stores);
*Macy's (closing 68 stores);
*Sears and Kmart (closing 150 stores);
*Abercrombie & Fitch (closing 60 stores);
*Payless ShoeSource (closing 400 stores);
*RadioShack (closing 552 stores);
*Staples (closing 70 stores);
*CVS (closing 70 stores);
*Gander Mountain (closing 32 stores);
*Vanity (closing all 137 stores).
Surely there are more - in fact, brokerage firm Credit Suisse said in a research report released in early April that it is possible more than 8,600 brick-and-mortar stores will close their doors in 2017. Over 2,000 stores closed in 2016, and over 5,000 closed in 2015.
I know we're living in the digital age and yada, yada but what happened to getting off your duff and going to an ACTUAL store?! What happened to spending dollars in your community (or a neighboring community)? What happened to stimulating the LOCAL economy?
You may want to ask yourself these questions next time you just absolutely have to have something you found online.

Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Article comment by: Vivian Knoble

Kudos to Brian Gottsschall!!! You hit the nail on the head!!
My best purchases have been Online!
I suspect "brick and mortar " stores will be extinct in 10 years.

Posted: Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Article comment by: Brian Gottschall

Interesting statement at the end of that article: "What happened to stimulating the LOCAL economy?"

My response: Will it not stimulate the local just as much, if not more, if I buy an item for less off of an Internet site and thereby have more money left to buy other items? If I pay less for one item that I need and have more money left for myself as a result, I will probably spend the leftover money at a local restaurant, thereby stimulating the local economy in a way I wouldn't have it I had spent more in a physical store. The gas and time savings help as well, and it's not hard to get free shipping on many, many items.

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