December 15, 2013

Help me get off the couch to shop

As we all know, the entire nation’s economy depends on how much we spend during the Christmas season. It is a responsibility I take very seriously.

I know too that, for the good of the local economy, I should wantonly spend most of my holiday budget at area stores and businesses.

Unfortunately, like millions of others, I find shopping for gifts on my computer vastly superior to wandering the aisles at stores. I know in my heart that I should drag my corporeal form out of the house to pick out toys for the kids, but …

By shopping on the computer I can save gas and time. I can compare prices. I can have the gifts delivered directly to my doorstep. I can have 472 people explain why I should buy this toaster over that toaster. There are more items to choose from and no long checkout lines to brave.

A couple of mouse clicks, give my credit card info over an unsecure line to an Indonesian online store clerk and bam, I’m done.

The question is, what can store owners do to lure me away from home?

Slicing prices on a few items on Black Friday, causing dangerous swarms of shoppers, isn’t going to do it. A fat guy in a red suit smelling vaguely of bourbon won’t work either.

Forcing your underpaid workers to open up early on Thanksgiving morning definitely isn’t going to work. In fact I might boycott you for that one.

I do read your glossy flyers in the newspaper, but if you don’t have free delivery, or at least guaranteed, no-cost shipping-to-store, I hesitate. What if you’re sold out when I get there? What if some child wipes his nose on me? What if my vintage vehicle with the 167,000 miles on it is stolen from the parking lot?

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