Published on April 19, 2009 By Island Dog In Business

I was taking a drive today, and I was looking at a bunch of retail-type businesses that have closed down, or are just not getting any business.  Now you will have some that will say it's all the fault of the economy, but I disagree on some of it.  What's really the point of smaller businesses that don't offer anything special or different than any other?

Aside from the grocery store, and some items at a store like Target, I don't have a need to visit other retailers.  Pretty much all computer or electronics related purchases are done online, where I can save usually a ton of money and tax-free as well.  Most games I purchase are either digitally distributed or come in via the mail.  This is not just me, just about everyone else I know have similar habits.

I just cannot find a good reason to visit a retailer, when I can get the same thing for usually 10-20% cheaper online, combine coupons or free shipping offers, and it's just about perfect.  That's pretty hard to compete with. 

But now we have another issue that could affect online shopping, and that is the introduction of wide-spread taxes currently being debated by the government.  In past years this has always been defeated, but facing huge deficits and having people in charge that always want to tax, it's likely online taxes will become a reality.  So would that drive more people back to retail?  I don't think so, especially if online stores can keep prices in check.

 

 


Comments
on Apr 20, 2009

Only to the extent that people want to see the item before they buy, have a fear of ordering online, or don't use/have a credit card. The sales tax benefit for online shopping, will be a thing of the past soon, and S/H charges for some items make it impractical, so I wouldn't count out B & M's anytime soon.

on Apr 20, 2009

I have noticed some places are not getting as many customers as before. target being one of them. Walmart seems to do just fine. The smaller locatiosn are definitely feeling the pain as people figured why pay more for convenience when they can pay less at places like Walmart. Honestly I never understoob how many of them survived at all. People now a days don't seem to have much loyalty for local small stores unless they too lazy to drive to Walmart.

I have however noticed 2 things that have closed down that i would hav expected to be the on places making the most profit. Many local Dollar stores and Goodwill stores have been shut down. That is very weird to me.

on Apr 20, 2009

Also, retail stores offer instant gratification.  With online, you have to wait for your product to arrive.  The fastest delivery option is next day delivery which costs way more.  At retail, you see the product in the store and you can pay for it and have it right now.

on Apr 20, 2009

Also, retail stores offer instant gratification. With online, you have to wait for your product to arrive. The fastest delivery option is next day delivery which costs way more. At retail, you see the product in the store and you can pay for it and have it right now.

That's the reason I like stores as oppose to shopping online. Not to mention if it doesn't get there on time, having to get some kind of refund for delivery charges, if you are not home at the time of delivery, if it comes damaged the customer service thru the phone never works right and the time it takes to either get a refund or get a new product. Online seems like to much hassle, but it's also the future.

on Apr 20, 2009

I like shopping online, it's like having Christmas or a birthday year round. I use it mostly for computer hardware and software, or if it's something that's hard to find. I'm patient (and cheap) when it comes to shipping, so I never opt for next-day or other express service. So both have their place.

on Apr 20, 2009

I know some nuts who REFUSE to use credit cards... and I know some people who refuse to WAIT a few days for delivery and have enough money to not care if its more expensive in a brick and mortar stone... my buddy just bought a GTX260 for 100$ more than it is online, because he wanted to get it in a 10 minute detour on the way home from work... (stopped at frys)

That being said, MOST of the people I know, as well as myself, prefer to shop online. Adding taxes online will shift the equasion a little, but there is still going to be a sizeable portion that would prefer shopping online, why drive somewhere where you can just order it in moments and have it delivered to your door in a few days?

on Apr 20, 2009

I know some nuts who REFUSE to use credit cards

I don't have one.  I use a debit card...which is really the same thing.

 

As for retail stores becoming pointless?  You'll have to wait until all the old people die first.  A good chunk of them don't know about all these new fangled internet stores and stuff.

~Zoo

on Apr 21, 2009

i meant don't use cards... i know a woman who refuses to buy ANYTHING online, and i know a guy who refuses to use BANKS, he has all his money as cash under the mattress

I myself use credit cards for everything, but pay them off immediately, I wanted to have only debit cards and no credits, but i decided i should do it this way to build up a credit score.

on Apr 21, 2009

I have however noticed 2 things that have closed down that i would hav expected to be the on places making the most profit. Many local Dollar stores and Goodwill stores have been shut down. That is very weird to me.

Dollar stores are usually full of cheap quality items that break easily, or are otherwise not a logical purchase. (At least in any dollar store I've been in.)  I like dollar stores, but would I go there for quality items? No.

As for goodwill stores, with places like WalMart, why would you buy something secondhand, when you can buy it used for not very much more.  The goodwill stores around here aren't really much cheaper than buying something new at a large retailer.

There are also things such as Craigslist, or local online sites for posting second-hand items.  Why cart something to your local goodwill when you can sell it online and have someone come and pick it up?

on Apr 22, 2009

i never actually found anything worth BUYING in a dollar store. and i mean ANYTHING... its just full of junk.

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