Conflicted about retail

I spent some time in Waterstones today with my wife. It’s a beautifully presented shop and the experience is always welcoming, friendly and educational if you have a question.

We spotted two books that would make good Christmas presents and so we went to purchase them. The price was not cheap at £50 for both books so I said to my wife that I would check Amazon just to be sure they were not too expensive. I didn’t want to as I love Waterstones and she didn’t want to either, but when you see £24.97 for both with free delivery and arriving tomorrow what are you to do?

As much as I love the bookstore and as much as I worry about many aspects of Amazon (workers treatment etc) there is a harsh reality that hits home quickly when you realise that you are about to save £25.03 with no extra hassle.

Sorry, but how is the bricks and mortar store going to survive when even loyal customers have to go elsewhere?

One thought on “Conflicted about retail

  1. Shaun, you raise a very valid issue that all of us face but I’d make the point you didn’t “have to go elsewhere”. You made the choice to save £25.

    At that level of saving, it’s difficult to say no, but we all have to bear some responsibility for what’s happened on the high street. For sure, many of the disappeared big chains had more problems than just price competition.

    Town centres don’t get away scot-free either. Expensive rates, stupidly high car parking charges and punitive fines for erring into bus lanes all make the town centre unattractive. Councils need to wise up and help small traders and local businesses.

    Nationally, I do think that the playing field needs to be levelled. It’s not right that these big multinationals get away with paying next to nothing in terms of rates and taxation.

    Consequently, this Christmas I’m going to shop locally, even if it costs me more. I’d rather my money goes to a store which employs local people who in turn spend their wages in the area ensuring local prosperity. Anyone with me?

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