Will retail stores soon become obsolete?

It seems that the trend of online shopping is becoming more and more prevalent.  Why cruise a crowded Publix at 6:00 pm when you get off work, when you can simply order the food online and have it delivered to your house as you arrive?  Why deal with pushy salesmen at a shopping mall, when you can order your clothing, jewelry, or shoes online in the color, style, and design that you know you like. 

Some people usually object to this convergence shopping trend for the following reasons:

1. It’s better to shop in person because the consumer can tangibly hold the item in their hands and know that it’s the one that they I want.  True, but almost every online shopping site has detailed pictures and sometimes demonstration videos that go along with the product. 

2. Online prices are usually higher plus the cost of shipping and handling.  Almost all online sites are the same price as in store or in some cases cheaper.  Also, if a consumer wants to complain about the $15 dollar shipping and handling cost, then they need to assess how much money they’re spending on gas and food when they take a trip to the mall.

3. For some, shopping is actually a hobby.  Most would agree with this one, but fishing, hunting, golf, tennis, skiing, and chess are hobbies as well and if you do your shopping online then you’ll have more time to participate in these said activities that are heatlhy and therapeutic for you. 

I would much rather spend my Saturday out in the sunshine, staring down a fairway with the wind in my face and an ice cold PBR in my hand, than cruising around the Mall of America for 45 minutes just to find a parking spot.  Imbrace online shopping.  It’s better for you.

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