Will we regret the internet and the demise of traditional retail shopping as we know it?

There is an awful lot of talk in the press about the High Street shops and their struggle for survival due to the ever-increasing presence and use of the internet for shopping online.

Will there come a time when a certain age group won’t remember what it is like to go shopping for clothes, groceries, white goods, television sets etc., etc.,? Are they going to be missing out on the touchy-feely aspect of their desires and aspirations of what they think they want or even need? How will they know if what they see on their little screen is the exact colour, fit and style for them and when their order does arrive they try the items on only to find they are not what they expected.

Then when the groceries arrive there is a few substitutes in the boxes which probably suits the “you shop, we drop” suppliers depending on how their stock is at the time.

Buying a television, white goods or electrical appliances online or even in a box can be a nightmare and dare I say, divorce threatening if you don’t know what you’re doing when setting your purchase up with whatever the instructions say. For a few pounds more I had a local specialist come to set my latest purchase up, two men brought a choice of two sizes of TV’s to choose from that would fit our room, we took our pick and they set everything up, spent invaluable time with my wife going through the whole lot, two men, two hours; what would that cost in terms of hourly rate? For the few pounds extra we spent it could never have covered the cost of their expertise and time plus it was hassle and stress free!

I did watch a friend recently trying to plumb in a dishwasher he had bought online, that was a laugh a minute 🙂

Although websites have made it easy to return the unwanted items, it is not the same as trawling the shops until the fancied items are tracked down. I for one like to see what I am getting first hand without the hassle of having to wrap it up again and take it down to the returns point only to wait for something else to arrive.

It’s a touchy, controversial subject and only time will tell what method of selling the winner will be.

Meanwhile, we are in danger of losing all of the jobs and expertise that the high street, out of town retailers and specialists offer as it is becoming ever impossible for those shops to employ good savvy staff because they can’t afford to pay the salaries required to get the best knowledgeable people.

Knowledge and expertise is not in abundance, why? Because we are not prepared to pay for it anymore, we just expect the parcel to arrive and everything will be hunky dory!

The day will come when we won’t know what to buy because there will be nobody around to advise us. We’ll just have to believe what we read; after all how will we know any different? And even worse there will be an abundance of discarded gadgets lying around in sheds and garages nationwide simply because we have been abandoned by experts as they have gone on to greener pastures.

If you’re wondering what this has to do with gardening and garden machinery, next time round is my view on why we need specialists with qualified experts in their field and why we should expect to pay for their expertise.

Join me again in a couple weeks.

Mr Greengrass