When I was young I thought of a store as a place to buy things. Concrete and glass surrounding rows of merchandise. I thought of a store as a cold place, and never wanted to be in retail.
Of course I now know to never say never to God, as her sense of humor will cause that thing to happen. He must be enjoying the fact that my wife and I are store owners, but being a store owner, I have learned something of value. Stores are not a collection of things, but are about people. Sure many of the big box stores are often cold and sterile, but the locally owned stores, the ones that began retail eons ago, they know that stores are about people and having a good feeling. People that are employees, vendors, customers, neighbors and often friends.
A store is a place for people to go, when they need a gift for someone special that lets the person receiving it know how important and special they are. A gift that a person in the store helped you pick out, by listening to your story, and wanted to help you find that special item. A gift that someone in the store boxed and bowed for you with a smile, so the person receiving it would smile as well.
A store is a place to go when you are feeling low, so you can maybe buy yourself something special, but more importantly, where someone in that store will listen, and try to pick up your spirits. A place that maybe has dogs that will give you kisses and love (like Izzie and Houston do). A place that plays soft and comforting music and often has fun events with free food or coffee and giveaways. A place were the owners and employees dress up for fun events.
A place where you get a hello when you come in and a thank you and have a good day when you leave. A place to buy a great outfit, jewelry or accessory that not only makes you look good, but feel good. A place where the owner won’t let you leave with something you don’t look good in, even if she needs the sale.
A store is a place to take you time in, even if you are in a hurry. It feels nice being there.
That’s what a store is to me. Do you agree?
If you agree, then tell me, why are stores disappearing, and will we miss them when they are all gone?