Monthly Archives: February 2013

I hate shopping and shopping centers

online comerce
Our economy is more digital every day. These are some of the enablers

This past Christmas, my dance partner did most of her Christmas shopping online (she used my Amazon link – “Thank you Cheryl”). She was so happy not to put on her several layers of winter clothes and schlep all the way to mall, frantically searching from one store to the other, waiting in countless lineups, not knowing whether or not she was getting a good deal. She avoided awkwardly walking through the mall carrying several bags and then fighting to get a taxi to take her back home. In fact she was very happy to be able to open her laptop in her warm living room, look for the items that she wanted, read reviews, compare prices and finally hit that “Buy Now” button knowing that she would get delivery to her doorstep within two days for a lot less money.

During the month of January, I went to buy furniture at Ikea for my apartment. I got lost (as always) on my way there. Then I walked like cattle through the narrow hallways of the store, waited in several lines, got back into my car and fought rush hour for 45 minutes before getting back home. The saddest part is that I could have saved all that time and aggravation just by going to the virtual store and getting things delivered to my apartment the next day.

This tragic waste of time goes on every day of the week and millions of people are victims of it. But why do we do it? Why do we submit to such senseless activity? Well, less people are submitting themselves to such torture. The retail industry continues to change every day. How many of you go to the local video rental store any more? How many of you buy music on physical CDs? How many of you still buy books on paper? (Don’t be shy to write your comments below).

Shopping centers will not die. They will continue going through a transformation. People will go to the shopping center to get things that they will not be able to get online, or to experience a social activity. We will see less and less retail stores and see more service related boutiques; restaurants, hair salons, bars, dance schools, yoga studios, gyms, etc.

It is with great pleasure that I watch this fast transformation.  Our economy is going virtual. I could have any book, song or movie that I want within seconds, by clicking a few buttons, at any time of the day or night. No waiting in long lines, not getting into a car and searching for hours to find out that they do not have what you were looking for. None of that. Everything is at our fingertips faster and for less money. No wasted paper, no wasted transportation cost, no wasted time waiting in line.

If you are a retailer, you have to take part of this new economy, by creating a website and giving spectacular service to your clients. If you are a consumer, the choice is yours to buy your next item online from the comfort of your living room or to get into a car (or metro) and spend more time and money for the same item that you could have found online.

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Alain’s miscellaneous stuff

1. Teaching a crash course of tango. Photos coming up soon.