Op-Ed: Generational shopping habits hold far reaching consequences for local businesses

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A reader submitted the below op-ed in response to this weeks Muskoka Post editorial; My generation was raised on bargain shops and Amazon; Local will need to evolve & compete Dave Ross


A compelling subject. One which holds far reaching consequences for many.

At 59, I’ve been the one whom would always hop in the car to go shopping ... for anything. My generation and that of the older “Boomers,” seem to have a need to be tactile with our shopping and purchasing. On-line experience for us is impersonal and offers nothing more than convenience, and occasionally, savings.

My wife is a strong proponent of the online purchasing process and has been doing it for years. If there were a course, designed to coach the purchasing, on-line neophyte, she would be “the boss”. My eternal hope is that the younger generations will see and understand the importance of supporting all elements of their local commerce.

My concern is that we have become too selfish to look beyond our own nose, and needs. Are we losing retail through evolution? And what of the real estate where retail will have once flourished? The “Siren” is luring us to the jagged rocks and we will need the requisite skills to circumnavigate the dangers.

Recently, we bought an item on-line that we picked up at our local little box store. When I went to pick up the item, we were politely asked to consider coming to the store to order, in the future. The reason offered was that the store received no compensation for the sale. All the same work was involved in helping load the car, paperwork, employee time, but no restitution. So in future, I will endeavor to visit our local stores and shops. I will speak with a sales clerk, look at their in-house stock and discuss other options and styles which are not available to see, real time. I do prefer the visceral experience that comes only with person to person interaction. The more we decline to interface and relate with one another, the more we become less human.

Please, when you sit down at your IPad to order something ... anything, take a moment to consider a business within your town that might be a “like” or better option. Nothing makes us feel better than helping another person. We don’t achieve this euphoria through on-line purchasing.

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