The good old 70's. Back when I was just coming of age, getting my schooling and dreaming of a career in the fashion industry, this catchy tune hit MTV-the first video to air on MTV. It was a one-hit-wonder but I can still sing a few lines today-especially the chorus.
So what does the song mean? At the core of the song is the death of radio and the birth of video on television. Out with the old and in with the new. Passing from one era into another. It would have had a much more profound impact on me back then had I known that the very business model I was studying in college would also one day be a dying breed. Brick and mortar retail as I knew it would give way to the world of online shopping. And not just online shopping, but the monopolies of the behemoths such as Amazon and Alibaba. So as the song goes,
Video killed the radio star
In my mind and in my car
We can't rewind we've gone too far
Where does that leave those of us who just can't give up on our dream of that small business in our home neighborhoods? We need to reinvent ourselves. We need to try harder, be better than the experience of sitting at a computer and ordering something based on a photograph. Don't get me wrong, I shop online when I need something I can't find locally. It is convenient, and usually-if you shop around, -cheap. Sometimes ridiculously cheap. And typically tax-free. Free shipping. Free returns. Stuff we could never compete with. So we don't.
And let me tell you, it is a challenge to keep pace with the big guys and their..........convenience. And sales. I think Holiday shopping started around Halloween this year. Americans have always been the Kings and Queens of discounts. When I first traveled to Europe as a flight attendant in the early 80's, the standard there was really 2 sales events per year. Once at the end of the summer and once after the winter season. Everyone knew what to expect. They too have succumbed to the pressure of constant discounting because most online shopping sites ship all over the world. We truly are a global economy.
Soon we will be ringing in the New Year and filling our calendars with events, promotions, and gatherings of friends, customers, and customers who have become friends through our shops. We will have some laughs, share stories, catch up with the travelers who come once a year and be thankful for the wonderful opportunities we have been given. Trust me, you won't find this while shopping online and that is why brick and mortar boutiques will survive and thrive.