The Magic of Retail
Shopping for some is mundane, not helped by rampant globalization and our change from locally owned stores (usually with a character that everyone knows at the helm) to generic high street shops.
Myself? I have to admit I love shopping, I am of an age that grew up obsessed with brands and searching out the next cool thing, part fashion and part a quest to find that item that would set you apart from the rest.I grew up in Cornwall and at that time there really wasn’t much in the way of generic high street stores. The Nike Air Max came from an independent sports shop in Falmouth, a pair of Levis 501’s from a gentleman’s outfitter in Falmouth that had been in the town for over fifty years and a beautiful French Connection coat from a small fashion store in Truro. My bike came from an independent bike shop in Truro (that is still there today) and even my first computer, a Spectrum 48k came from a small independent computer store. As a kid I probably drove my parents, and these shop owners, mental with my regular visits and my staring at the thing that I would either hound my parents to get me, or save up my paper round cash or eventually work my Saturday job in the bike shop to earn. I earned it locally and unknowingly I spent it locally. It was the only choice I had.
Fast forward 25 years and I am not a sixteen year old kid anymore with some cash burning a hole in my pocket, I am the owner of a retail business. So, you’re now starting to see why I am writing this piece — it’s me reaching out to tell you that you need to visit my business Rockets & Rascals and spend your cash, right?
Well not exactly, we’d be happy to take your money in return for a beautiful bike or a great cup of coffee but that’s not what I am doing here. On January 1st I made only one resolution, to stop shopping online. I don’t hate shopping online, I sell stuff online and it would be hypocritical for me to condemn it. However what I will say is I prefer shopping in the real world much, much more. It’s not as easy, there’s not as much obvious choice and at first you think it takes much longer but it’s way more productive and if you are a terrible shopper then what makes you think you’ll be any better online? Often in shops you don’t know the price of something until after you realise you like it, leading you to find something that you genuinely want rather than something that is just cheap. This thing will often last you a decade or more. Who’s saving shopping time now!
Once you get the swing of it you remember that you fall in love with certain stores, you smile when you get great service and you struggle not to hand over your money. You also realise that you wasted huge amounts of time browsing online, picking up parcels and sending stuff back. You get some of your life back and you can do other stuff; watch Game of Thrones, or go to bed, or maybe write an article and put it on Medium.
So to bring this to a close, before it veers elsewhere, I am saying is this, give shopping in actual shops a go again. It’s really good, be nice to the staff and get them to show you how good they are and let them help you find some great stuff and then feel happy giving them your cash. It’s a far better feeling, whether in a little independent store in your own town, or further afield. The really cool thing is all of the annoying tight wads will only shop online so they just don’t go to shops anymore, they’re nice places waiting just for you.
It’s a little bit magical, and if you really like the store then feel free to check out their website.