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Talking it Over: Conglomerates in trouble

I’m sorry, but I really have trouble feeling bad for big box stores that are now finding themselves in financial trouble. I keep thinking back to the years when these businesses first opened and how they affected our small-town, main street businesses. I guess what goes around, comes around sometimes.

These are the very stores that forced many small businesses to close and caused the ghost-town effect of our main streets. People flocked to shop at the big stores to get a bargain, larger selection or simply to get out of town for a shopping trip. Many realized later that these store lacked in the customer service and quality that was common in our smaller stores.

There are still many big stores out there, but the internet is starting to have an affect on them. Consumers can now sit at home and shop to their hearts content, compare prices and even get them shipped free, saving on gas and time. The personal, one-on-one contact is missing, but the time and cost savings seem to draw people in.

Will the big box stores eventually be a thing of the past just like some of our main street businesses? Only time will tell, but it is not looking good for some companies. Getting into the internet sales may save some but this type of sale does not always require a storefront, just a good web site.

Personally, I would rather walk into a store and select the item I need, talk to someone knowledgeable of the product and carry it home carefully in my own vehicle. It would be great if someone could set the product up for me at my home, but that also went away with the small town businesses. We now have to attempt it on our own and struggle through the printed directions. Sometimes it is easier than you think, but other times, it is mind-boggling, to say the least.

I guess the younger generation is probably ready for this type of shopping. In many cases, they don’t feel they owe any loyalty to the small businesses struggling to compete with big box stores. They can easily search for products on the internet, have no problem with the delivery method and quickly have them set-up and ready to go, often with good results.

For me, I would much rather have someone locally that I can call and ask questions. Someone who might even come out and help me with set-up or simply to show me how something works. Someone who is willing to make repairs if needed and not just throw out a fairly new product because one thing quit working.

I don’t like to see any business fail but have a hard time feeling sorry for these struggling, large stores. I do feel bad for the employees who could lose their jobs but not the mega-millionaires who own them and just might lose a few million when one fails. I’m sure they will barely feel the hit unlike our small town businesses when the box stores opened their doors.