Brick and mortar stores closing ruins holiday spirit


The holiday season should bring about a time of joy and happiness for everyone, but it is often marred by the reality that the stores we know and love are doomed to close. With every passing year, online shopping orders skyrocket and easily outcompete in-store sales especially during the holidays. This leaves retailers with no choice but to either adapt to an increasingly online world or close.

I understand the convenience of online shopping and what benefits it brings when it comes to everything you need being in your computer, but shopping in-store has its benefits too. Whether it is a mom-and-pop shop or any local business, shopping in-store supports the businesses that make up your community and also helps people in retail keep their jobs.

“I always support local businesses. That is my main priority,” chemistry teacher John Jay Foster said.

Plus, my best gift ideas come when I’m walking around a store and something pops out at me. Whereas, if I’m looking for one thing online and can’t find it, the whole gift idea is ruined.

It also adds more of a sentiment to the gift knowing that the person who gave it to you spent their time looking for it in a store rather than just finding it online. Someone saying they spent hours looking around for your present until they finally saw it in-store and immediately thought of you is far more meaningful than that same person saying I saw it online and got it for you.

Another benefit of shopping in-store is that you can see firsthand the quality of the product you’re buying, and if you’re buying clothes whether they even fit or not. The reviews online aren’t always truthful, and you won’t know until the product is delivered if you bought an item of quality or not. It is far better to try on clothes in the store to know if it’s comfortable or if it fits than to order clothes online and discover that they aren’t comfortable and are too small or too big.

So, if shopping in-store is so much better in terms of getting a quality gift, then why do so many people choose to shop online instead? The simple answer is for the sake of convenience. Most people today are far too lazy to get off their couch, go to the mall, and look for a gift. It doesn’t help that big companies like Amazon and Walmart are making online shopping easier than ever and are only further accelerating the decline of brick-and-mortar stores.

The stores that played such a large role in my childhood like Toys “R” Us and Sears have now closed. It doesn’t affect me as much as a teenager now but looking back on the memories of wonderment when I’d enter a Toys “R” Us every time, I can’t help but feel a little bit of me is gone. Hopes of one day taking my own kids to the stores I grew up with are gone. I know I’m not the only one that feels this way.

“I worked at Sears in high school and college, so I was really sad when they closed. They have been around forever, and even my dad worked there when he was younger,” social studies teacher Sarah Crue said.

At a time where I’m supposed to be enjoying the holidays, I can’t help but feel like part of me dies when the news announces that more and more retailers will be closing shops after failing to reach their quotas for the season. Stores that I thought I would be able to take my own kids to one day are disappearing simply for the sake of convenience. It’s not that hard to get off your butt and spend a day holiday shopping with your friends and family.