One Thanksgiving, I got up before dawn to start cooking, only to discover my husband had used the last of the eggs without telling me. The grocery stores were closed because of the holiday. I went to both the 24-hour pharmacies in my neighborhood, only to discover they were both sold out. So I drove to the gas station. First, it was packed at still-dark thirty in the morning. Secondly they had what I needed, but at nearly four times the price I would normally pay. I was in a bind, though so I forked over the money.
Yesterday was Amazon Prime Day. I’m not a huge online shopper, but even I took advantage of one of those deals. I’m not sure of what all Prime Day entails, other than good deals and free shipping. I think there’s more to it than that, but I’m not really sure.
Anyway, I know a few people who love online shopping. It saves them time and energy. It’s convenient. But I know from experience that convenience costs, so I started looking at ways that society is paying for this relatively new way of shopping.
I didn’t have to look further than my nearest shopping malls. There were several empty store fronts, and several more with “store closing” signs in the windows. That may not seem like a huge deal, but as a kid who bloomed in the 1990s, it’s painful to watch.
Malls were the epicenter of our existence as teenagers. There was no social calendar that did not include hanging out at the mall. Many of us began our work lives at these retail locations. And where else were we supposed to get a warm pretzel and liquid gold to dip it in. Malls were our lives. (Side note: I currently own two board games centered around mall shopping: Meet me at the Mall and Mall Madness. My love for the mall is real.)
Sure, shopping from the comfort of your home has its advantages. But we will ultimately have to pay the price. Brick and mortar stores are on the chopping block first. But what’s next? How much are you willing to give up for your own convenience?