Friday, February 7, 2020

Shopping anyone?

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

Remember the phrase, "I'm going to the store; do you need anything?" Oh yeah. Lots of stuff. But these days, there's not much to go to the store for. And I'm always reading about how so many brick-and-mortar stores are closing.

I have a (not-so-brilliant) theory about that: people aren't going to their local stores (and malls) because they can't get what they want. I can't count the number of times I've hit a store thinking I'll buy something, only to find they don't have the size or color I want.  I have gone to shoe stores only to find that they have NO shoes in my very popular size. They're all gone and "we don't know when we'll get another shipment."

And then came the Internet. Granted, I don't buy a lot of clothes off the Internet, but there are three things I always buy: jeans, shoes, and underwear. I've been to three different Walmart's since December looking for underwear in my size. None. But Walmart online always has underwear for sale in my size 24/7. I've got a friend who's current housebound. She's been getting her groceries from Amazon for weeks.

As for me, I went to four different grocery stores in the past month looking for a certain brand of tea I wanted to try. None of them had it. (And it's not that exotic.) Well, Walmart and Amazon had it stocked and ready to go--with one-day shipping. (Tastes different than I'm used to. I wonder if I'll prefer it after a few weeks. I'll find out.)

Of course, the lack of stores means the end of window shopping.  And there are a lot of people who shop for fun. You can't really do that online, which could save you a lot of money. Or because it's fun to receive packages in the mail--could cost you a lot more.

What's my favorite store these days? It's a thrift store near our cottage. They always have fun stuff there. As for a "commercial" store, I love Vidlers in East Aurora, NY. It's an old-fashioned Five-and-Dime type of store with wooden floors where you can buy a little bag of popcorn for a dime to munch on while you shop. I have bought so many oddball gifts for friends and family there. I've bought Buffalo T-shirts. I've bought a "welcome" mat that says "GO AWAY." Pens, cookies, earrings, coasters, doll furniture. You want it, they got it! It's a fun place to go in a wonderful little town that's known for Elbert Hubbard and the arts-and-crafts movement.

So, do you miss window shopping or do you prefer to shop online?


Lois said...

I miss going to Woolworth's and regular shoe stores that use to measure your feet and get the right size shoes. I like to look at the products be it clothes, appliances or such. It seems like it is becoming an anti social society. I guess that makes me old fashioned. Where I live it is the rents that is driving some of the brick and mortar stores to close. I also miss the window shopping in general.

Denise Z. said...

I love shopping-I got got the gene from my mother, she was a champion bargain hunter. And I would love to shop locally, but ... nonexistent customer service AND lack of choices. So I window shop a lot online. I can do it without pants :) and I get the pleasure of getting packages.

Diane said...

I am starting to feel guilty because I love when I worked in retail. I feel guilty because this past Christmas I bought just about everything online. It's so easy to find just what you want. I do find that I like to buy clothes in a brick and mortar store If I'm sure about the sizing I will buy it online. Just this week, I bought 4 Polish coffee cups. I like the fact that I can compare prices online also. I seem to love Amazon and with Prime, there is no shipping and it comes in a day or two. I'm sorry Brick and Motar Stores.