Will the internet eventually make shopping malls obsolete? I love to shop online. There is no need to venture into the cold, rain, or blistering heat, battle traffic, and fight for a parking place. I can browse with no one hovering like a thirsty mosquito buzzing, “May I help you?”
The ability to browse for books at Borders or Amazon from the comfort of my home, click on the items I want, and have them delivered to my door is a delight. Shopping Sears, J. C. Penney, Wal-Mart, and most major chains is simple and quick. Granted, in most cases you will pay extra for shipping, (although some sites offer free shipping specials), but if you put a dollar value on your time, factor in the price of gas, there’s not much difference in cost between online shopping and in person shopping. There is something to be said for being able to physically handle the merchandise, experiencing texture and tones first hand, and the immediate gratification of taking the item home on the spot, of course. So I suppose there will always be a demand for specialty shops and department stores.
In some cities, the major grocery stores offer the option of shopping online or by phone with a small charge for delivery. Personally, I enjoy Schwan’s; I have a paper catalogue, plus I can browse their website, select what I want, and every other week, their truck pulls up to my door with my choices. There is a $1.00 delivery charge, but the quality of the food is good, and if you are not satisfied with your purchase, you can return the item for a refund the next time the driver stops by. I still go to the supermarket for some things, but I love the convenience and quality of Schwan’s (and no, this has not been a paid announcement; I am not being compensated for my words—I just love being able to shop in my undies at midnight, if the spirit moves me!).