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Life

360 Degrees

In the beginning, department stores had their own currencies and provided banking services to the community.  Store employees lived in houses owned by the company and paid rent to them. They were paid in store credits, so they could purchase the goods they needed.

At some point in our society’s evolution stores and banks became separate entities, but most of the larger stores had their own financing departments. Even that drifted further apart though as Mastercard became dominant in that sector. The retail industry then started to diminish with the advent of online shopping which became much more convenient and reliable. Meanwhile, the separate bank and credit card companies flourished.

As bricks and mortar stores continued to decline, people turned even more to online shopping. Instead of just speciality items (which played a role in the death of record and electronic stores), or the children’s area (which helped destroy stores such as Toys R US), they became very convenient for purchasing household products, toiletries, and bath products. This negatively impacted the midrange and bargain stores, like Zellers and Sears.

List of Stores Closing in 2017

Amazon could force 400 mall stores to close up shop

All of this drove people to shop online even more, since traveling to a bricks and mortar store became no longer convenient, and with less selection than online stores. Which caused companies like Amazon and Walmart to grow even stronger online.

Two companies with different paths.

Amazon was originally a bookstore, kind of like Chapters or Coles. Then they created an online presence and they kept growing it. It wasn’t just another option for purchasing, it quickly became a desirable option, with sellers from all over the world selling every type of product imaginable. The majority of the products are backed by Amazon, so easy returns meant no risk to consumers.

Free shipping for everyone on 100M+ items? Amazon’s doing it at $25

When you reach the point that you’re ordering from Amazon on a regular basis, at some point you realize it makes sense to pay to be a Prime member. Prime members get their orders delivered usually within 1 to 2 days. Plus they get a year of online television (sort of like a cheap Netflix).

Walmart, on the other hand, has always been a general goods store, with everything from tires to clothing and healthcare, to household products and eventually to even food products. At some point though, they probably realized the threat Amazon presented to their business, and they quickly created an online presence. They are definitely still a bit behind Amazon.

Walmart’s latest experiment: Higher prices online than in stores

And now Amazon (a store) wants to be your bank.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

 

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Evolution

Interesting fact:

Nintendo started as a trading card company. They released a few board games in the sixties. They also created Mahjong and Twister. All before they came out with a video game. An excellent example of how companies should adapt in order to stay relevant.

On a more personal level:

I have used Windows computers for years and even took a Linux course and played around with different distros, but with Linux, android tablets and smartphones, I was constantly trying to find a way to do something on the android device the way I could do it on Windows.

An interesting twist happened today.

I tried to find a way to do something on my Windows computer, similar to how I can do it on my android tablet.

It reminds me of when Fahrenheit changed to Celsius, I thought it would take me forever (if ever) to make the change mentally. And then one day I realized that I was mentally trying to convert Fahrenheit to Celsius because I understood Celsius better. (And spellcheck just told me that I was even starting to forget how to spell Fahrenheit.) I also remember the time when they introduced litres/100 kms (crap, now I feel old!). The change from mpg (miles per gallon) just kind of happened. Now I can’t even translate mph to litres/100 kms. Or I can’t be bothered. Either way, I’ve adapted.

Speaking of feeling old, we’re NOT going to talk about mimeographs, teletypes, dictaphone, Faulker / Pittman shorthand, or ditto machines, because I haven’t a clue what any of that means! And don’t you dare ask me what they are. God created Google – look it up!

Even as people, we must adapt to a changing society. Or get left behind and some day die out. 

Forgotten.jpg

Obsolete.


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The Season for Giving

 

Syrians

Christmas is just around the corner. This is the time of year that embodies the spirit of giving. And yet, for so many people it’s only about receiving, and their giving is limited to their immediate circle.

There is a refugee crisis happening and as we accept some displaced people into our country, the ugliness of some people is starting to show. A familiar refrain I continue to hear is “we need to help our own first”. Such concern for the woes of our society is admirable, or is it? What do these people actually do to help others in OUR society? Most of the time, absolutely nothing. They donate neither time nor money to any charitable cause.

Some of the people making these remarks have very comfortable lives, sometimes owning several houses. There they sit in their comfortable, heated homes, complaining that the people we’re helping don’t look as destitute as they expected. As if somehow they need to suffer more before “deserving” our help. Or they’ll complain that the coats that were donated (we live in a cold climate) were too expensive. Companies should only give them cheap things. They don’t deserve any better than that. How dare someone be given a $400 coat for free. Ikea is giving away furniture – what the heck! I’d like a free couch too!

It’s the “me” generation. Screw everyone else, let’s just worry about ourselves. I’d like to say I’d refuse to help these people if they ever needed it, but that’s not who I am.

It reminds me of a US state governor who voted against providing aid to another state during a disaster. When his state was hit with a similar disaster, he demanded the federal government step in and provide aid to them.  There’s a word for people like that – actually several words. Hypocrite, selfish, greedy, uncaring, cold hearted, unChristian.

It’s also ugly and disgusting.

Oh, and the comments about “helping our own first”? Some of my ancestors were aboriginals (Cree and Metis). It’s a good thing they didn’t think that way, isn’t it?

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