Letters to the Editor

Letter: Buyer’s choice

February 28, 2013


To the editor:

Years ago, before I moved to Lawrence, one of the things that attracted me to the area was the many fine independent bookstores. I am told, not that many years ago there were seven music stores downtown; now there’s one. I do realize it’s technology and changing times.

I have done my share of shopping online for books, CD’s and everything else. My son told me an idea I have since adopted. He finds a product, let’s say a book, online, then he goes to the local store and orders it! The cost turns out to be about the same, the difference is he is supporting a local job and contributing to the local economy.

Actions have consequences. Do we want a world of a few big box stores and a handful of online sites selecting our products and becoming our total shopping experience? Or would we rather interact with interesting local people selling things in settings that allow us to browse and maybe discover other things we would have never seen in the online environment while helping support our community?

Your dollar is your vote on what kind of shopping experience you want. Do you want your dollar to support some big out-of-state corporation or would you rather support our local tax base and folks who are our friends and relatives. Your choice.


David Reynolds 4 years, 11 months ago

Ernie, interesting but I think a battle that will be lost over time. The generation coming up is totally media/online based. Their buying habits are already engrained. The problem is not just books, etc. it is everything that can be purchased. Each year the online shopping dollar volume expands, look at christmas shopping.

You are dealing with busy families & new life styles. Time is a commodity most families are trying to manage. Just trying to get the whole family together for dinner one night a week can be a challenge.

Lawrence has a particularly unique problem with the limited hours of operation downtown in addition to the limited nature of national brand stores. People moving to town are used to shopping at the national brand stores.

Lawrence, Douglas County & the State of Kansas need to figure out how to capitalize on this expanding way of shopping. And they need to do it in a hurry.

My years in retail prove that people are creatures of habit. Once they are locked into shopping at a particular store or entertaining themselves at certain locations or eating at their "favorite restaurant" it is very, very hard to get the customer to change.

It is up to the communities and individual businesses to find ways to change habits and get them to shop at their businesses. Getting people to shop local vs online will take a change in our culture.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 11 months ago

Ernie Fantini makes a point of substance.

Chad Lawhorn also provided quite a substantial point:

"Lawrence’s education levels certainly suggest the city would be a good book market, but it appears Half Price Books may have discovered what a few other retailers have over the years: Lawrence isn’t quite as big as it first seems." http://www2.ljworld.com/weblogs/town_talk/2013/feb/22/half-price-books-to-close-lawrence-store/

Every local dollar counts and does more for Lawrence.

Son Fantini does good: "My son told me an idea I have since adopted. He finds a product, let’s say a book, online, then he goes to the local store and orders it"

We do this as well. We see an item then try to find it in Lawrence.

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