Thinking back to my college days, I fondly recall late nights spent at Tower Records, scouting new music, movies or comics, trips to Blockbuster to rent movies and games for marathon lost weekends, trips to Borders to get deals on books, read magazines and drink coffee, and epic browsing sessions at Circuit City, ogling gear and software I couldn’t afford.
It’s a bit sobering to realize that all those retailers are either gone entirely or shells of their former selves. Borders is the latest to go.
Obviously, we have the intertubes to thank (or blame) for this.
I’m not mad, just a bit choked up, like hearing songs from my youth on the classic rock or (gasp) oldies station.
One interesting side effect to the disappearance of these once mega-sized chain retailers is the resurgence of boutique and Mom and Pop corner stores that have filled the void. There are still lots of people out there who want the brick and mortar shopping experience, and these small businesses have gladly stepped up to meet that demand.
Case in point, Hollywood Video and Blockbuster folded their stores nearby, so when I want to watch a movie that’s in release jail (i.e. the 28-day after release window Blockbuster negotiated with certain studios to bolster them against Redbox and Netflix), I have to go to the neighborhood video store. I used to shop there years ago and worried that they’d be gone any day. Ironically, their large competitors folded, and their business is as robust as ever.
So, feeling nostalgic as we watch these retail giants roll over and die?