The core purpose of physical shopping has turned into entertainment.
With the growth of the online store, I can now click and press to receive my goods delivered to my front door. Gone is the need to walk in the world to gather essentials for myself and family, gone is the worry of finding the thing I want amongst a poor selection on shelves, gone is the hunting in different shops to find something suitable, gone is the lugging home large parcels of stuff.
Now women take this differently to men – and boy don’t we know it! Whilst I cannot fully participate in the experience they receive from gazing at clothes I do appreciate that my young daughter likes to spend a lot of time in her browser doing just that – is there a generational shift happening here? However the call is strong even for her and mother and daughter still walk the clothes boutiques getting pleasure from the “gathering fruits and berries” exercise.
Where is the pleasure? Maslow would have us believe that if we answer the lower calls of essentials, then the higher calls of self-actualisation come into play – so shopping become entertainment rather than food-gathering, drinking coffee becomes socialisation, and online shops become what? Our grain silos? Certainly the shopping centres that I see growing are combinations of eating, entertainment, climate control and relaxing – not hard pavements and boring flat shop fronts trudged past by shoppers ‘looking’ for items.
We are the people, and we want entertainment.