It is perhaps a sign of the technological times in which we live that even mainstream stores like Argos stock computing equipment these days. For instance, last weekend, I bought a Seagate Expansion 2 GB external hard drive in there for backing up my digital photo collection and never got to a local independent computer shop like I had planned to do. Maybe, it was the convenience and lack of fuss with a catalogue shop that swung it for me but the largest size at the other place was 1 GB according to its website anyway.
Other items bought from the pervasive chain have included a BlackBerry, a Vodafone mobile broadband dongle and an Asus Eee PC. All have done what I have asked of them and without any trouble but it does make me wonder about the threat to the specialist PC stores from their more mainstream competitors and it isn’t just Argos either. Tesco also tempt folk into their stores with technological goods and I must own up to having a cheap DVD player from there.
In former times, I might have been lured into purchasing at online stores until the reality of dealing with inflexible delivery services took away the shine after a few years. After all, I’d prefer not to burden neighbours with taking delivery of any purchases. My current job offers the possibility of some home working so that might be an option for those things that do need delivering but there remains a certain immediacy to going into a real shop for what you need and bringing it away on the day (having paid for it, of course) that is difficult to beat.
While I tend to decide what to get using my mind after doing some research, others may prefer the idea of getting some advice in a shop and that’s where the specialists score. In fact, it may be the only way that they are going to cope with the onslaught from megastores like Argos and Tesco. All this reminds me that going to a local independent shop next time is in order because they cannot be doing brilliantly in these cash-straightened times.