The Return of Retail
In addition to eating right, watching my pennies, and working hard as a single mom, I also make predictions. You may have caught my radio interview with Zito and Karen on Mix 93.1 where I was talking about upcoming fashion trends and I surprised Zito by saying that, for men, the wrist watch was making a comeback. About six months later the Apple Watch was introduced. It just makes sense, sometimes, and watching the market and consumer spending trends give a lot of hints as to what’s to come.
Recently I experienced that sometimes things you order online are not what you expected when they arrive at your doorstep. It’s sort of a funny story, in retrospect. I thought it would be nostalgic to have a round, leather ottoman poof like we used to have at my Grandmother’s house. I would lay on that thing as a kid and listen to stories, or read a comic book while eating a chocolate bar. So I ordered one for the house for Christmas and found just what I wanted on-line. When it came to the doorstep, I was away, and when I heard that I received a round tube I was kind of puzzled. Well, maybe I needed to stuff it myself, and I tried to figure out what I would do that with. Old towels? Is there a foam poof insert I could buy? So I arrived home and there was the tube, waiting for me. I opened the tube and discovered it was not a tightly rolled up leather sack, but a large photo of a beautiful ottoman sitting there on a Persian rug just as I saw it on the website. I was so mad at being duped in this way, it took me all of one minute to call and give the vendor a lecture about honesty in marketing while trying not to laugh.
There’s a rise of counterfeit products out there even on reputable shopping sites like Walmart and Amazon. It’s getting concerning when our health and those of our pets and loved ones are compromised in this way. I can’t tell you how many times lately I’ve noticed people sharing nightmare stories of products that turned out were harmful. We really have to become our own experts in our consumer spending. I’m sure we all have browsed You-Tube University or read Consumer Reports before making a major purchase. Now we have to add checking the reputation of the seller, feedback from other shoppers, online articles about the “best of’s” and on and on. It’s getting exhausting!
So yes, I predict that the local retailers will once again shine in a world full of questions and questionable actions. It makes sense that your local high-end retailer with a product you can touch and check before purchasing will become a strength in an ever-changing market. I can drive nearby, walk in and see a familiar face, find the exact product I’ve bought for years, and even feel great about supporting a local business. What could be sweeter, and safer, than that?
Amy Patt, The Olde Computer Guy’s Daughter