Shopping habits.

We used to travel to Little Rock several times a year, usually just to “go shopping.”  With a wider variety of stores there, there more of a selection of whatever we were shopping for.  On occasion, we would venture to Fort Smith, which is a little further from us than Little Rock.

These days, there is more available locally than back then or, if we are to travel elsewhere, in Conway, which is about half the distance of Little Rock.

I don’t mind shopping for most things, but I usually detest shopping for clothes, which, because of available sizes, is  generally a struggle.

I’m a big guy.  Most stores carry few, if any, shirts that fit me well and even fewer that I like.  Sometimes, they’ll have pants in the right size and style.  Even then, I have to search just to find a pair or two to try on.

A few weeks ago, we went to Little Rock, mainly to get out for the day, but, also, to do a little shopping for new “business casual” work clothes.

I found one shirt and two pairs of slacks that I liked and that fit.  The shirt was from the “big and tall” section of the store, but, even there, it was an effort to find just one.  Usually, I’m on the lower end of sizing for “big and tall.”

I was also looking for shoes, but the one style I liked wasn’t available in my bigfoot size.  I scanned the bar code into my smart phone so that I could order the shoes later online.


While I still needed more work clothes, I was done for that day.  My older work clothes were getting a bit ragged, but there are several pair that were good enough for a while – and I just wasn’t up to searching (shopping) for more clothes.

Weeks later, I still hadn’t gotten around to shopping for the rest of my work clothes.  Since I liked the one shirt found in Little Rock, I checked to see if it was available online – and it was, so I ordered several more in various colors.

That was easy! – and so much easier than trying to find my size and choice of clothing in stores that, the next day, I ordered slacks and jeans.

bookstoreThe digital revolution has certainly changed shopping habits and led to the demise of many retail shops.  It’s been many years since music stores were common in malls – almost all of our music purchases have been digital downloads for at least the last seven years.  Because of Amazon and other online book sellers, most small book stores have closed as have some large ones.  We both have kindles, so visits to bookstores are now very infrequent.  We shop locally for most other purchases.  However, specific products are often easier to find and order online and can often be delivered in just a few days, often without any shipping charges.  It wasn’t that long ago that long distance purchases – generally through catalog sales – took several weeks for delivery.

How have your shopping habits changed?

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  • nick Mar 5, 2015

    I still buy clothes in the local clothing shops, as I really need to try them on to check the fit, but I often order books from companies like Amazon because I can’t find them in the bookshops or the Amazon price is much lower (and I don’t have an e-reader as I like the feel of books). I like doing the weekly supermarket shop – I like nosing around the shelves – so I’ve never ordered groceries online. And I still buy music albums rather than downloading as I like listening to a whole album. So no, my shopping habits have hardly changed!

    • Mike Mar 5, 2015

      I’ve bought most of my clothes from JC Penny for decades now and, for some reason, no matter the brand, there seems to be little variation in the sizing of my clothes. Karen, on the other hand, has lots of problems finding consistent sizing. The only groceries, etc. that I’ve purchased online is a favorite breakfast bar and some over-the-counter meds that I wasn’t able to find locally for a time. With music, I prefer to have it shuffled in a random order.
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  • Grannymar Mar 5, 2015

    I find the best bargains when I am not actually looking for something in particular. Shoes would be my greatest problem, though I alw\ys look after shoes so they last a number of years.

    I have used online shopping from the supermarket at times, but that is mainly for heavy or bulky items so that I do not need to carry them. I prefer to buy my fresh, fruit, veg and meats as I want them and not using dairy products, means my shopping trips are fewer.
    Grannymar recently posted…I have my eyes on you.My Profile

    • Mike Mar 6, 2015

      This week, Karen and I have both purchased a number of items online. Bad weather has resulted in delays for most of them. One large order to Amazon had items coming from four different corners of the US. Three were sent 2 day delivery by United Parcel Service and the other was sent standard delivery (5 to 7 business days) via the US Postal Service. The items sent by UPS were all delayed by weather while the USPS parcel arrived in two days.
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  • Cheerful Monk Mar 6, 2015

    We’ve been mostly buying clothes online for the past 40 years. As you know, Andy has one style — short-sleeved white shirts and navy pants. The shirts have gotten thinner over the years, but the company still has them. I have a bit more variety in my clothes, but not much.
    Cheerful Monk recently posted…DevotionMy Profile

    • Mike Mar 6, 2015

      When I’m not working, my clothes are normally jeans and tee shirts in a variety of solid colors. My work attire is business casual slacks and polo style shirts in a variety of solid color. I have a few long sleeved shirts, but seldom wear them. Karen’s style is fairly casual, too, mostly jeans and a variety of shirts and blouses.
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  • Rummuser Mar 8, 2015

    I do almost all my shopping online except for clothes and footwear. I too have to depend on stores that specialise in large sizes and unfortunately they do not offer their merchandise online. My needs however are few nowadays and so it is no big deal. The special stores for large sizes are not too far away from where I live and I can always pop in when I go to a movie or to eat out and so I am quite content with that kind of facts of life.
    Rummuser recently posted…Education II.My Profile

    • Mike Mar 8, 2015

      There are no stores near us that specialize in big and tall sizes. At best, there is a small section of a store that offers a few items.

      The availability problem for me is not so much the “big” as it is the “tall.”
      Mike recently posted…“Are you okay?”My Profile

  • Hilary Mar 12, 2015

    Hi Mike … I did buy a few things this year online – I prefer not to do it – and still look around for things locally – we don’t have a big big town – but it’s enough .. and I’m not looking for fashion. Having just had my hip done .. I’ve lived in tracksuits and no make up for 6 weeks … getting out of the habit is tricky!! I’ve messed my hip up a bit – so am in protection mode – but thankfully had some lose trousers to put on for when I need to be smarter .. socks are still a trouble.

    Thankfully it’s done now – and I hope we’ll have some warmer weather and I can get out of trousers …

    Shopping changes – I use museum shops and our national trust type places for books, as too second hand books .. via Amazon I’m afraid … and the kindle – though I’m not good at reading on that.

    Cheers and I’m vaguely back .. hope the job is going well .. Hilary
    Hilary recently posted…Cheapside Hoard: Goldsmiths, Bankers, Jewellers, Pawnbrokers and Toymen …My Profile

    • Mike Mar 14, 2015

      Yes, the job is going well. I’ve been pleased at how welcoming everyone has been, including the operators that our training group provides training to. It seems that they wanted to bring me back in 2014, but were not able to get authorization.

      Karen is in Wisconsin until week after next, visiting our daughter and grandkids. Our son-in-law is deployed with his National Guard unit in Okinawa, Japan. After I dropped her off at the airport on Thursday, I actually did some shopping in Little Rock. The main purchase was some steel-toed shoes, which are required in certain areas at the plant. I haven’t been in the plant since I retired in 2007 — the training center is .65 miles from the plant — as I have not had a security badge since then. This time, since I am going to be there for a longer period than other contracts, the rules are different and I am going to “have” to spend some time in the plant — which I don’t mind.
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  • Holly Jahangiri Mar 22, 2015

    I hate it that the answer is “yes.” I’ve never enjoyed shopping; if I could have fresh produce air-dropped by Amazon to my front yard at a reasonable price, I’d probably go for it. But what I hate is that the answer is “yes” because I hate the idea of a monopoly, of limited choices, of uncertainty should that single choice disappear or come under the control of people who used it for evil ends.

    I love diversity and WANT to support local “Mom and Pop” shops, but they can’t compete on price and the convenience of Amazon Prime, can they? Unless you LIKE to shop – in which case, bless you for keeping civilization humming along.
    Holly Jahangiri recently posted…5 Day Black & White Challenge (Day 2)My Profile

    • Mike Mar 24, 2015

      Funny, I’m actually shopping as I comment on this. I’m picking up Karen from the airport and came in early to do a little shopping. When I got a pair of steel toed shoes week before last, I forgot that, where I would be wearing them, I have to go through a metal detector, so here I am back in Little Rock shopping for safety shoes with composite safety toe protection. For some reason, I don’t mind shopping for shoes.
      Mike recently posted…“Are you okay?”My Profile

  • Holly Jahangiri Mar 24, 2015

    Even funnier – I think shoe shopping is THE WORST. Pens, though – office supplies? I could go for a little retail therapy. And books, of course, but that’s not so much shopping as…replenishing.
    Holly Jahangiri recently posted…The Great and Powerful A to Z Theme RevealMy Profile

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