Blog: Dean BestLaziness or convenience? The rise of online shopping

Dean Best | 7 March 2008

just-food reporter Michelle Russell yesterday (6 March) heard UK retail watchers talk about the rise and rise of online shopping in the country. It got her wondering...

Have we become a lazy nation of shoppers or are we just too busy to fit a weekly shop into our now busy schedules?

I remember a time when I was a young girl and Thursday nights were grocery shopping night. My mum would bundle me and my two sisters into the car and we’d look forward to what we saw as a bit of an adventure – ok we didn’t get out much – but exploring this huge, overwhelming supermarket, picking up items we clearly weren’t allowed and diving for the toy section are all images embedded in my childhood memory.

Yet it seems this may soon be a thing of the past with online shopping now growing at such a phenomenal rate.

Ok I won’t be going shopping with my mom and sisters anymore but the family outing, choosing what you’re going to have for dinner, squeezing and smelling your fruit - it doesn’t quite offer the same experiences sat at a computer.

With obesity also on the rise, shouldn’t retailers be encouraging shoppers to get a bit of exercise, even if it is a walk from the car park to the store, and browse through the plethora of healthy-eating brands now hitting supermarket shelves in person rather than from home? Or are retailers just thinking of their pockets with the virtual basket offering a far greater capacity than the physical one?

Maybe we should take advice from the French who haven’t yet entered into the online grocery-shopping phenomenon. Visiting a local market surely offers a social element that gladly contributes to the food buying experience?

Before we know it, those grinning supermarket greeters will be out of a job and we’ll all be suffering from piles, but hey at least we’ll have more time to play on the Wii.


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