SAULT STE. MARIE, ON— Recent years have shown a steady rise in back-to-school shopping online. As time goes by more and more penny-wise parents are opting out of the in-store experience in favour of the convenience of online options.
While many regard online shopping as quicker, easier and cheaper, not everyone is convinced the trend is a good one. Sault resident, Mary Jones, who lives in a small bungalow with her nine cats, confesses the shift to online shopping gives her cause for concern. “In my day, if we needed pencils, we went out as a family and bought pencils,” declares Jones raising her eyebrows. “That’s the problem with families today, they are too busy on their computers, phones and looking for poke-men to spend time with each other.” Wandering along the once bustling aisles of Staples, she pauses to pick up a Sharpie. Lifting the marker to her nose she removes the lid and inhales deeply. “That’s the smell of my childhood,” Jones reminisces. Closing her eyes she lets the sweet solvent transport her to a simpler time… a time when families strolled through the stationary department hand-in-hand.
Random eavesdropper, Kelly Griswald, a self-proclaimed online shopaholic, was quick to weigh in on the subject. “Have you ever tried carting two screaming kids around a store? It’s a nightmare! Online shopping is my saviour. I can get everything done from my patio chair. In fact, I bought almost everything online this year and shipped it to My American Address.” Turning to speak to Jones directly Griswald adds, “There are literally websites for everything…you can even get those cat costumes you love so much!” Though Jones doesn’t respond, her grimace slightly softens under the harsh florescent lights. Slowly lowering her Sharpie it’s clear its power over her is not absolute.