My Issues With Brick and Mortar

Kraus House Mom

As Toys R Us announced they were filing for bankruptcy, I must say I wasn’t that surprised. In all honesty, the way that brick and mortar stores are run now, I’m surprised that they can stay open at all.

Let me start by saying that I am not a millennial (the ones being blamed for the fall of just about everything). I am a Gen Xer that has witnessed the demise of retail and the way it used to be (from my perspective).

I was a mall rat. I spent hours there. I worked at a super popular store in the early 90s. Now my daughter loves the mall. You know who doesn’t love it? The people who work there. So many of them go out of their way to avoid you. A simple “Can I help you?” “If you need any help, let me know.” goes a long way in changing my opinion of a store. At this point, I’ll take a simple “Hi”.

I have walked into a store, walked around for over five minutes; passed by three employees and not one of them said one word to me and I was the only customer in the store. How is that welcoming?

Let me tell you, I prefer to touch and look at what I am buying. I’d rather buy from a store than online. ¬†Unfortunately, so many stores have made that difficult or just plain unpleasant.

So many stores are so messy you can’t find a thing. I swear, every time I walk into Old Navy, it looks like the end of Black Friday. H&M has racks so packed together, you can barely walk through without knocking stuff over. Don’t get me started on Macy’s, I’ve never found one article of clothing for myself in that store (online yes, in the actual store, no).

When it comes to Toys R Us, if you ask me they have priced themselves out of the market. If you look at some of the most popular games. They have them for up to five dollars more that other stores (other brick and mortar). Why wouldn’t someone buy it at the other store?

Now let’s talk availability. I have walked into a store with a list of things and several times at least half of what is on my list I can not get because the shelf is empty.

Don’t even think about asking for help. I have found that there’s hardly ever anyone around, if you can find someone chances are it won’t be a pleasant exchange if you get that far.

I was at another store and was looking for a specific item. I knew they carried it because I bought it there before. I couldn’t find anyone to ask where it was. There was one associate and when I started to walk toward her, she turned and walked into the back room.

Don’t get me wrong, not everyone that works in retail is miserable. There are some very pleasant workers and when I find them I make sure they get the credit they deserve.

I love going shopping in stores and it makes me sad that so many of them don’t seem to care about the customers anymore. ¬†I’m still going to shop at brick and mortar stores, but if I can’t find what I’m looking for in the building, I will go online.

35 thoughts on “My Issues With Brick and Mortar

  1. Yup, I heard about Toys R Us and wasn’t surprised. They do mark up their prices. People are checking around for deals these days, especially now that there’s apps to help. And sometimes it does take forever to find help from an employee.

  2. I’m not surprised either about TRU. They are ALWAYS more expensive than Amazon, and Amazon’s return policies have gotten so good that it’s senseless not to take the cheaper option.

  3. I love a mix of both online and in-store shopping. You can’t beat the convenience of online but I do love being able to see things in front of me as well.

  4. Brick and mortar stores have to find ways to attract customers and provide the savings online stores offer. I love Toys R Us but it often less expensive to buy the same item online at THEIR website or another online retailer.

  5. It’s too bad to see them close but with huge online retailers like Amazon, how does any store survive. The only bright side I see is perhaps a great clearance sale on their way out. :/

  6. I’m going to say that I have had more issues with customer service in any store than anything else. I usually shop online now because I can’t get help in the stores. I didn’t know about this store going bankrupt.

  7. Toys R Us is definitely more expensive than just about anywhere else. I think they and Whole Foods just priced themselves out of the market.

  8. I’m also a genex-er and I miss the mall days. Ok, well maybe not totally. I was spoiled living in NYC for a few years and loved walking in and out of stores on the street. But it was still brick and mortar. Now with low stock and lackluster customer service, I’m finding it easier to shop online.

  9. Not surprised to hear this about Toys R Us. They have always been expensive and I mean ridiculously expensive. I’ll got to Walmart or order online before I buy from them.

  10. Large stores definitely tend to be understaffed these days and the workers that are there are likely overworked. Online sales are probably having a huge impact on these places.

  11. My favorite part time job was when I worked at Macy’s. I loved to talk to people there and help them find things they needed.

  12. I Was thinking today that my son won’t know the joy of shopping in a toy store. We were so excited as a little kid to go shopping in toy stores, and now, they just won’t exist.

  13. This is a great point, I know that working retail is difficult but so many make it hard to shop at the store. I do a lot of online shopping but I still enjoy going to stores. Certain things I prefer to see in person at the store before purchasing so I will never be a 100% online shopper.

  14. I love shopping online sometimes, but there is a huge level of enjoyment and satisfaction from going to a store and making purchases. I still love going to the mall and making a day of it.

  15. Not surprised to hear this about Toys R Us. They have always been expensive and with today’s digital life, that’s not a good thing. Prices need to be more competitive.

  16. I was still surprised at the Filing. Our Toys R Us is STILL a madhouse at Christmas time. I do most of my shopping online simply because I don’t have the time to do anything else!

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