Why I'm Over Brick And Mortar
THE SET UP
A few years back I used to be a major advocate for brick and mortar shops. There was something about the thrill of going to a store, finding all the latest Nick TMNT figures and gleefully walking out with a massive bag full of them.
However, since the end of that line, I've actually taken a stout dislike of going to a physical store to buy collectibles. This point was drilled home today, and I'm to the point now where I don't think I'll ever set foot into another Target, Walmart, etc.
In today's day and age, the majority of people I've come across working in retail stores aren't helpful. They have no knowledge of the products they're selling, don't want to be bothered by customers, sometimes don't even speak English, and in general, don't want to work. They will give you the queue card answer to most questions, which typically involves saying, "If it's not on the shelf we don't have it," and some will even roll their eyes at you and sigh.
The worst part about it is that most stores have come to realize that customers simply don't want to deal with their useless employees. Yet rather than train people to be better, they've added kiosks all over the store so that shoppers can check on items themselves, and even done away with human cashiers. Now you're driving to the store just to have an online experience anyway.
THEY DON'T HAVE WHAT YOU WANT
9 out of 10 times, if you're going to a retail store for a toy, they won't have it. In today's case, as I'll go into further below, that's even if the computer tells you they do. It's frustrating and disappointing to walk away empty handed. It's even more so frustrating when the only reason you went there is because their own website said the item was in stock.
IT'S A WASTE OF TIME AND GAS
Due to the fact that most stores don't have what you're looking for in stock, it's simply a waste of time and gas to go to a brick and mortar store. Especially if you live in a highly populated area. Driving to a local store can take as much as thirty to forty minutes just to get there. It's just not worth the time and hassle.
THE FINAL STRAW
After stopping by G.I. Jigsaw today, I saw that George had obtained the new Retro Collection Death Star Escape. As a fan and collector of the original Star Wars figure line, I was excited for this particular board game because it included a retro style Grand Moff Tarkin - A figure the original series ominously omitted. I was excited to see the figure had finally hit shelves, and went straight to Target.com to see if it was available. Not only was it, but the website stated the item was in stock literally down the street from my office. I decided I'd take a half hour and go get it vs. ordering and waiting for it to arrive.
Upon my arrival at the store, I went straight back to the toy section. I figured it would be in one of two places; 1) Board Games or 2) Action Figures. I searched both, but came up empty handed. I was, however, able to flag down a store clerk, and asked him where I could find it. A quick search on his store issued device, and we were back over at board games. Despite his search, he too couldn't find it. Additionally, he couldn't even find the tag for where on the shelf it should have been. I asked if the item was still in the back stock room, but was told no as the employee walked away.
As the clerk walked away, I shook my head. I was disappointed and annoyed. I found myself saying out loud, "Brick and mortar stores are so useless and a waste of time." True words as far as I'm concerned.
Rather than leave empty handed, I went up to customer service and asked if I could place the order there to have it delivered to my home. Not only was this possible, but I found out that doing it via this route also provides free shipping. Had I ordered it via logging into a computer, I would have paid six dollars for shipping.
Hearing of a brick and mortar store closing down used to sadden me. I would think of the people losing their jobs or the loss of yet another great place to have an experience for the thrill of the hunt. However, for me, I'm long over it. Online shopping is dominating the retail market because it's quick, easy and convenient. You can do it from anywhere, have it delivered right to your doorstep, and with the exception of an occasionally incorrect item, you never have to deal with one single person. Most importantly, what you're looking for is no more than a simple click away. It's sixty seconds of shopping vs. sixty minutes of empty searching. Kind of a no brainer if you ask me.
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