Friends

02 March 2013

THE COLLAPSE OF THE MARKET PLACE


Everyone is querying whose fault it is for the close-down of retail outlets and the rapid growth of boarded-up windows on once thriving premises. Villages and towns are an eyesore these days and I wish something could be done to stop the spread. So, I ask again, whose fault is it?

There are two main reasons, high rents and the Internet. Rents can’t be paid if sales are not forthcoming and the more we buy on-line the more shops have to close.

Shoppers now purchase goods from the Internet rather than the marketplace and I can’t really blame them. It is something I do a lot simply because retailers are not offering me what I want. I can spend hours looking round for a particular item, without success, yet I can always find that item on line ... usually at Amazon ... in double quick time. Thus, Joe Public is driven away from shops while the shops blame the Internet for their demise. It’s a bit chicken and egg, don’t you think?

picture courtesy of http://www.smh.com.au

Towards the end of last year, I think it was November, I wanted to buy a new coat. To my mind November is a month that warrants warmer clothes and certainly one’s mind is more attuned to the coming winter than the recent summer. Joe and I nearly walked the leather off our shoes looking for a suitable garment, one that would suit ME and not make me look like a teenager. I did find one, but it took a long time. It seemed that November was not considered an appropriate month to buy coats yet by Christmas time there were hundreds to choose from.  As it turned out I didn’t need to look on-line but the point is that in general the shops were not geared to my requirements.


We recently lost Comet, a large company specialising in electrical goods, televisions, refrigerators, washing machines, phones, dishwashers, etc. It was said that its downfall was caused by not embracing Internet sales.  Already I miss that store and seeing the empty property as I drive by is disturbing.


Then there came the collapse of Jessops, huge in the field of cameras. This came at a time when I was looking to buy a new camera and needed expert advice. I ask you, how does one get expert advice on the Internet, man-to-man, question and answer? How does one get the feel of a camera by looking at pictures?

Having said all that I admit that the Internet is remarkable. I hear you can even buy spectacles on-line. That’s not for me though, when I buy new specs I try on several before making a choice. Some suit, some don’t. We’re all different. The dispenser at my local optical services shop is qualified to measure ... could anyone reading this measure their own face, or the distance required for reading?

One piece of good news heard on the radio was that those stores who operate order-on-line-with-collection-from-store came up with that idea in order to get people back in the stores. Great managerial thinking but it won't save the small shops. 

9 comments:

faye said...

The same situation here. A lot of my
favorite shops have either reduced
inventory or simply closed.

Sad to see all the empty buildings.

Akelamalu said...

It's a shame stores are closing down but there are still people who do not have internet access so stores are still needed. I tend to buy mostly online I have to say, because I my feet hurt if I do too much walking.

Mel said...

I've not been a fan of buying online. Mostly two reasons--I don't like shopping, and I don't trust the 'secure' network system that doesn't seem so 'secure' to me. Sitting in my own home to do a task I don't like.....LOL....better to get in the car, get a dinner out and a coffee at Starbucks as a reward for having to deal with shoppers and shopping.
We're losing shops, too. It's crazy--we're isolating ourselves more every day.

Brian Miller said...

it is pretty sad that some brick and mortar shops have not kept up...and all the boarded up windows...its here on this side of the pond as well...actually we had a couple that burned down here....trying to get insurance...but they got caught....

Montanagirl said...

We see a lot of closed stores over here too. It's kind of a shame, but it seems the internet is taking over. I for one, am guilty of shopping online. We live in a one-horse town with graveled streets, a Post Office (for now), a bar, a bank, an ice cream shop and a school. The two nearest towns (30 mi. East, the other 40 miles west) don't offer much shopping either.

Ron said...

Outstanding post topic, Valerie!

And being someone who is in the retail business, I see this happening so much. More and more people are coming into my store and
'testing' products for themselves, and then going home and purchasing them online because they can get it cheaper. We have lost a tremendous amount of business from online sales.

This why I think it's so important for retailers to 'bump up' their customer service skills and go beyond the call of duty and be extra attentive to customers; giving more care to their needs.

"I ask you, how does one get expert advice on the Internet, man-to-man, question and answer? How does one get the feel of a camera by looking at pictures?"

Yes, that's exactly how I feel. If I'm going to purchase something (especially if it's something I've never purchased before), I want to see it, touch it, and talk to someone face to face before I make an investment.

I don't purchase much online, myself. Because if I want to buy something, I enjoy the whole experience of actually 'shopping' for it.

Like you, I adore the Internet, but in many ways it has alienated us from human contact.

Again, outstanding post topic!

Have a super Saturday!

X

Valerie said...

Pearl, I have a walking problem, only mine is in the spine which, of course, affects the legs.

Mel. True, sadly we are isolating ourselves.

Brian, there have been some insurance grabbers here too, some people will stop at nothing to get money.

Mona, sounds as though you really need the internet for shopping. I suppose your post office sells other stuff besides stamps?

Ron, how cheeky is that... testing and buying elsewhere. I too like the shopping experience, unfortunately (as with the coat) I can't seem to find what I want.

Paul Forster said...

I have only recently started purchasing through Amazon. Purchasing through Amazon is certainly most convenient and I have found reliable. Being a big music fan and not being catered for here I have bought many DVD's of some of my favourite movies and singers.

Banker Chick said...

I agree with you and Mel about how isolating shopping the internet can be. As I age, I find the internet is increasing taking the place of going to the store. Big Box shops are killing the malls, Malls were the ruination of main street shops. Change is inevitable and shopping in stores will keep up or fail.