Stores are closing at an astonishing rate. More than ever, brick-and-mortar locations are shutting down. Who's to blame? The internet.
Although e-sales only account for approximately 10.2% of total retail sales across the country, the disruptive nature of online shopping is undeniable.
Too many once thriving businesses have been left in the dirt because they refused to change. Join us and some Reddit users as we dig up the fossils of familiar business dinosaurs and reminisce.
Comments have been edited for grammar and clarity.
The little corner arcade. Not a fancy Beercade or Dave & Busters - I'm talking an actual old-guy-with-a-half-smoked-cigar, dingy-as-hell corner shop: grimy exterior, no maintenance, dim lighting, and a whole bunch of aged arcade machines—NEVER the latest release either, always at least a year old.
The city's finest snack bar, offering Little Debbie snack cakes for 25 cents marked "Not for individual resale" and cans of store-brand soda sold warm out of the 12-pack. Luxurious duct tape covered barstools—but he splurged on BLACK duct tape! No silver here, whoa-ho!
No bill changer, just a disgusting bucket full of coins that the machines get emptied into, into which he shoves his fist and grabs $5 worth of quarters to break the next customer's bill, some petri dish equivalent of The Circle Of Life in twenty-five cent form.
THAT arcade. The REAL American arcade. Not this "Fun Center" funny business with tickets and prizes -- NOPE. Just top five scores with naughty names like "FU", "DAM" and "POO".
I never got into arcades because by the time I was old enough to be any good at video games (around 2002-2004) basically every arcade game I encountered was $1-$2 per play. I didn't think it was worth it to blow a whole $2 on one or two tries on a video game, especially when I had an N64 at home.
2. Toys "R" Us
12-year-old me misses Toys "R" Us. My son more than likely will never experience the joy of being let loose in a giant toy store.
I really miss RadioShack. I used to always go in there with friends and look at all the remote-control helicopters and crazy Tivo devices and everything that I thought was so awesome.
It's so weird how those things were so revolutionary and now it's just like, "Oh yeah, you can get that at Walmart for $5."
Renting games before buying them...what a glorious time...Sure, there's demos and services, but going into a Blockbuster and being able to browse everything...yeah.
5. Discovery Channel Store
Did any of you have that Discovery Channel store at your malls? It would have those Native American rain tubes, that when placed on its top or bottom had the beads inside sound like it was raining.
That and had a bunch of cool "As Seen On TV" toys and books. It was great - then one day it was just gone. Wish it was still around today - it would still be cool to learn new things.
I used to hang out at my local Borders after school everyday. Went to the release parties for four Harry Potter books too. I remember the way it smelled, the way the coffee tasted, the comfortable spaces where you could sit and read. I miss that.
7. Mom and Pop stores
Most of the shops in my small country town closed because everyone orders everything off of Amazon, and now there's many abandoned buildings.
8. Hastings Entertainment
Hastings was probably similar to a Blockbuster, but Hastings had movies and TV shows to rent, books, music, other stuff that you could buy. It was a great store, but now there is TJ Maxx in its place. It will truly be missed.
9. Flea markets
The problem with flea markets is that thanks to the proliferation of the internet, it's pretty difficult to find a good deal on much of anything, especially video games.
People check the prices on eBay and other places and just price around that. You could go to a dozen flea markets or pop-up shops and the same game will be around the same price at every single one of them.
10. Land's End
I miss the former quality of Lands' End merchandise.
Lands' End has really gone downhill since having to compete online - to the point where most of their merchandise is unrecognizable from its former quality and durability.
I used to love going through the Sears catalog as a kid around Christmas and seeing what I wanted to ask Santa for.
What's ironic is that Sears could have been bigger than Amazon since they already had a head-start on the "order from home" business, but they just didn't embrace the internet enough to stay competitive.
I know that they’re still around but since they’ve changed the way they do business and because they had to adapt to the internet, you don’t get the same experience you did versus 10-15 years ago. When’s the last time you’ve been to a brick-and-mortar store for a midnight release of a game?