With the filing of bankruptcy by Sears, I started looking at the sheer volume of stores closing in 2018 and was shocked. This year alone more than 3,800 retail stores will close their doors. Either through bankruptcy or simply saying we quit. The closing of brick-n-mortar stores started in 2010 and have resulted in over 10,000 stores closing.
Why is that? There is a phrase called “Retail Apocalypse”. According to Wikipedia “The main factor cited in the closing of retail stores in the retail apocalypse is the shift in consumer habits towards online shopping. Holiday sales for e-commerce were reported as increasing by 11% for 2016 compared with 2015 by Adobe Digital Insights, with Slice Intelligence reporting an even more generous 20% increase.”
While there are many factors surrounding the closings, I’m focused on “e-commerce” or “online” shopping. the huge online non-brick-in-mortar business’ like Amazon. There are huge reasons shoppers are going online. Two of them are understandable, however, the 3rd one isn’t.
Shopping online is more convenient: I get it, you are at home and want to start your Christmas shopping so you pick up your smart phone or other device and shop away. All while watching TV in your pj’s. It’s convenient and it magically appears on your doorstep in a few days!
Shopping online saves the environment: Poppycock! I have witnessed online orders arriving to the door step in boxes 2, 3 times the size necessary. Then when the item is not what you wanted or doesn’t fit you have to return it. My favorite is having Target deliver your purchases online. Each one in separate boxes, then discovering the item or items have an ingredient you’re allergic to so you need to return it. Oh btw, in order to return it you have to go the local Target to return it. Costing you more time than had you gone to the store in the first place. Ironically, odds are in your daily travels you went right past a Target and could have saved yourself all the time!
Shopping online is cheaper: In the beginning, online shopping websites were taking advantage by not honoring manufactures MAP (minimum advertised price) and would heavily discount the merchandise. They did this because of the low overhead. Today it’s a different story, today manufactures are making everyone advertise M.A.P. I sampled 4 major online retailers (Leisure Pro, Scuba.com, Amazon, Dolphin Scuba). Pricing the Atomic T3 Regulator, Atomic B2 Regulator and the Aqua Lung Legend Regulator. All 4 online retailer’s prices were exactly the same as ours. When you do find an item that is really low in price odds are it’s not being sold through an authorized dealer and won’t have a warranty.
Reality: While it’s not possible for the local brick and mortar store to carry the sheer volume of product the major online folks do. What you do get is the ability to touch, feel, try on, and the expert advice we offer. We may have to order your size in but the service you get is worth it.
Did you know most regulators are not completely assembled, tuned and balanced right out of the box? Every item we sell is assembled, tested and tuned or adjusted for optimal performance.
In closing I encourage you to visit your local “brick and mortar” store for your next purchase. The service and smiles you get will warm your heart!
Dive safe, dive often!