We all love the convenience of shopping online, but it’s also nice to go to an actual store. Not always to buy things, sometimes it’s just to peruse and be inspired. This is especially enjoyable when traveling. When you’re away from home you are actively seeking out new things, which makes shopping a different experience.
If you only shop online and never going to a physical store things just become too transactional. Everything shouldn’t be so easy it becomes a mindless activity. That’s where consumerism is headed and that’s what these massive online retailers want — mindless consumption. That’s a perfect segue to Prime Day which inspired this email and the list of great stores that is linked below.
Amazon Prime Day is like Valentine’s Day and Black Friday rolled together into one. It’s a completely artificial and pointless commercial celebration conjured out of thin air to sell more stuff that no one needs. Was that too harsh? I can’t contain my disdain for something so clearly manipulative. Just look at the timing — in the middle of the year away from times with true demand. It’s just a pure money grab.
Are there some small deals to be had at Prime Day? Maybe. Is this something you should really care about? Probably not. I would prefer to avoid this all together, so that’s exactly what I did. I don’t want to get gamed by Amazon to buy stuff I don’t really want or need. It’s like the sample sale mentality where you buy sh/t you will never wear because it’s a good deal. The better move is to resist the temptation. I’ve been burned too many times so I don’t shop at sample sales anymore . I also don’t take part in fake corporate holidays.
I’ve been paying a lot of attention recently to the many empty storefronts throughout New York and L.A. All of it made me think about the little shops out there that are far more worthy of our dollars.
It feels like the best thing to do is act like every week has a Small Business Saturday. These are the stores that are meaningful to our communities and in our lives. These are the places that we will miss if they are gone and will be posting about on Twitter when it’s too late. These are the places we all want to continue to exist. The 125 Best Stores in America.
We’ve been so moved by the community support in shopping local in Mill Valley… families coming in together, parents giving kids choice in gifts, spreading their budgets across a variety of stores in downtown, proudly exclaiming they’re only buying from small businesses. Also incredibly grateful to all of the heroes on the front lines in our communities around the world doing the work to care for our loved ones and keeping us protected, fed and connected. Emerging from this challenging year feeling radically optimistic that a reprioritization on the villages that provide creativity, culture and community will thrive.
Harsh? Certainly, but not unwarranted. The seamless embrace of Prime Day by Americans is frightening. I can still remember being a child and listening to my mother lament the birth and rise of QVC. Now it seems almost quaint compared to the circus of Amazon Prime Day.