Before Amazon? Sears Shopping……
I do a lot of shopping on Amazon – A LOT… before Amazon I went to the store, I’d get in my car and head to Walmart or the grocery. The boys needed clothes, shoes, a book bag, or book no problem! I’d head to the store… and I could usually find it. Now though I shop at Amazon. I can find most things I need and as long as I have a couple days leeway I cam good. I’ve even been known to head to the store, see something and order from Amazon while in the store. Sometimes because the store was out of it, sometimes because the price was so much cheaper online. When I head to the store I do intend to buy at the store, but for big purchases or specific items I have frequently end up searching. Our book store is limited now, we only have a small fabric store with high prices, and my son is really specific on colors, characters on clothes, and even what type of fit and design his clothes have. So amazon it is…. even to find his size, I’m stuck going online. He really needs an 8 Slim now and will only wear an elastic waist. His preference is no drawstring, but I can cut that out. Try finding that around town.
While my dad was in school and his mother was still alive, the common place to get things was a catalog. My grandmother Richter would order things and if they fit, yeah! If not you wore them anyway. Items were then handed down through the kids. I remember sometime after I was in 2nd grade, my dad having a toe removed. From the story I remember it had to do with the wrong size shoes my father wore all the time while growing up. My son loves wearing his shoes too big and I can’t bring myself to make him wear shoes that might be in anyway small because of this memory.
My aunts also told a story recently about my grandmother taking them to a store in the nearby ‘big’ city. It would have a sale each year and they would drive over to stock up. My grandmother was finally learning to drive and they had a huge car. My aunts pointed out a spot where 49 turns north and mentioned that it’s where my grandmother was hit while taking them to the store and learning to drive. She never drove again. It was also just a little before she became sick. – So I’m guessing it was sometime around 1950….
While my aunts and uncles were growing up, Sears was the ‘Amazon’ of the time, just with a catalog. You could get almost anything! I remember seeing houses that were known as Sears Craftsmans – usually built by the tracks because the parts were delivered by train. The houses were ordered from the catalog.
Sears now has lost market share and is closing stores. It’s hard to believe they have gone from the giant that was the go to for moms that needed something that couldn’t be found at their local mercantile, to a closing business. It makes me wonder what the future of Amazon will hold. I did recently see an add for a ‘new’ service’, order online and pick it up immediately on site! Yep they have just reinvented the store again. Are there still new ideas to be developed?