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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Shopping History

Shopping History
Intelligent businessmen have been trying to get to our money for as long as money has been around.  Shoppers have willingly parted with their money in ever faster ways.  Today we don’t even have to leave our homes to buy products on line and we trust total strangers with our credit card information somewhere and everywhere around the world.
I still remember times in the past when we operated with the premise of cash on delivery (C.O.D.).  C.O.D. was the ultimate guarantee that you could trust the company or individual you were dealing with.  The Company or individual was so sure of his product and integrity that he was willing to deal on a C.O.D. basis.  Imagine this, the seller was incurring the shipping cost, risking that you may not accept and pay for the shipped product.  In today’s world the buyer (customer) assumes all the risks.
When I talk of shopping history I am only making reference to the period that covers our particular time of existence (perhaps our parent’s existence-late 50s to present day).  During this period of time I experienced many efforts to change the shopping experience:  from door to door sales to Pyramid, and including the arrival of large department stores.
Almost forever large department stores have had a bargain basement section.  The bargain basement is where you found bargains at clearance prices.  This bargain items were always typically the end of a season clothing, the last of a product line where as an example there may only be one or two select sizes left, or even a discontinued line of a product.
Here are some histories of your most common shopping experiences:
Amway (short for American Way)
  • Is an American company using multi-level marketing techniques that sells a variety of products, primarily in the health, beauty, and home care markets. Amway was founded in 1959 by Jay Van Andel and Richard DeVos. Based in Ada, Michigan, the company and family of companies under Alticor reported sales of USD$11.3 billion for the year ended December 31, 2012—the seventh consecutive year of growth for the company. Its product lines include home care products, personal care products, jewelry, electronics, Nutrilite dietary supplements, water purifiers, air purifiers, insurance and cosmetics. ~ Wikimedia
Discount Stores:
  • During the period from the 1950s to the late 1980s, discount stores were more popular than the average supermarket or department store in the United States. There were hundreds of discount stores in operation, with their most successful period occurring during the mid-1960s in the U.S. with discount store chains such as Kmart, Ames, E. J. Korvette, Fisher's Big Wheel, Zayre, Bradlees, Caldor, Jamesway Howard Brothers Discount Stores, Kuhn's-Big K (sold to Walmart in 1981), TG&Y and Woolco (closed in 1983, part sold to Wal-Mart) among others.
  • Walmart, Kmart, and Target all opened their first locations in 1962. Other retail companies branched out into the discount store business around that time as adjuncts to their older store concepts. As examples, Woolworth opened a Woolco chain (also in 1962); Montgomery Ward opened Jefferson Ward; Chicago-based Jewel launched Turn Style; and Central Indiana-based L. S. Ayres created Ayr-Way. J. C. Penney opened discount stores called Treasure Island or The Treasury, and Atlanta-based Rich's owned discount stores called Richway. During the late 1970s and the 1980s, these chains typically were either shut down or sold to a larger competitor. Kmart and Target themselves are examples of adjuncts, although their growth prompted their respective parent companies to abandon their older concepts (the S. S. Kresge five and dime store disappeared, while the Dayton-Hudson Corporation eventually divested itself of its department store holdings and renamed itself Target Corporation).
  • In the United States, discount stores had 42% of overall retail market share in 1987; in 2010, they had 87%. ~ Wikimedia
We didn’t even cover online shopping definitely the biggest and fastest growing way to shop.  Next time we will cover the big players in the arena to include Amazon, Ebay, Craigslist, and others.  I will also include the package shipping industry giants: FedEx, UPS, USPS and DHL.  The best is yet to come…..

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