Commentary: How can physical stores beat online sellers? Allow Dogs | Opinion
When I learned that our corner CVS and Ace Hardware did not prohibit customers from bringing their dogs when shopping, I switched to those stores.
Now, instead of buying drugs and bric-a-brac from online vendors like I used to, I frequent establishments in my neighborhood.
If other outlets, like supermarkets or department stores, turned a blind eye or displayed a welcome sign, I would do the same. And I believe other dog owners would follow my example. Consider the rising revenue of these local businesses.
While overall retail sales still outpace e-commerce, each sector’s growth rate tells a different story: in 2020, retail sales increased by 6.9%, while e-commerce increased by 32, 1%.
An accusation against animals in the aisles is that they should not be near the bins of fresh fruits and vegetables. Protesters demand remediation or disruption.
Has anyone seen a child roaming the aisles grabbing boxes of cereal or juice? What about adult customers, pawing at peaches then tossing them out and replacing them for the next person to look at?
And Macy’s? The department store chain has closed stores across the country. My solution: fire all the consultants and in their next promotion, “We love and welcome dogs!”
I contend that most dogs behave better than some children and adults. Dog owners I know hold their dog with a fist wrapped and cemented to the leash. Dog parents would never allow their pet to become loose or out of sight.
Consider distracted parents – you’ve seen them in many movies and TV shows where the child wanders off unnoticed. The mother turns in circles. She’s screaming, Tommy! The store loudspeaker announces: A 6-year-old boy wearing a Disney T-shirt has been lost. Please bring it to the office.
I’ve never seen a similar scenario for Bailey or Sadie.
I signal the pandemic with the pairing of people with their puppies. You remember, shelters across the country were cleared of animals. If the population were ordered to stay at home, they would be better tolerated with pets.
When the general public is asked about their position in the debate, the results are roughly half and half. It’s not difficult to determine which part of the scale dog owners go deep into.
A lot of people, and maybe even some dog owners, or my friends would argue, what’s the deal with leaving Doris alone for an hour or two?
Obviously, these questioners have never seen my dog give me a real smile when she walks me to friends’ houses, CVS, Ace Hardware or other places where she feels welcome.
Of course, Doris can be left alone. Our apartment will be as I left it. Nothing will be moved. She’ll be glued to a pillow until she hears the front door open and my size 5ft step through the threshold.
Then it’s a leap from his post and a rush to sniffle and reassure me that I’m the loved one who’s come back from who knows where and for who knows how long. Contrast that with her relaxed joy when she’s with me on the go.
If brick-and-mortar stores were to welcome pets, it could be a challenge for online shopping. Convenience stores, supermarkets, and large chains need to get creative to combat the perks of home shopping.
You probably enjoy the benefits of being able to shop around the clock, without worrying about driving, parking or public transport, saving time and avoiding crowds. A simple way to counter this: welcome the dogs.
My 3-year-old rescue isn’t a service mate, but his presence reduces my anxiety as effectively as my morning dose of Lexapro.
If I wanted to, I could register Doris as an emotional support animal. But I refrain from this action because my anxiety does not rise to the level that could justify the designation. Doris’ comfort doesn’t entitle me to special treatment. Official ESAs are intended to help those who suffer only from depression or the most debilitating manifestation of anxiety.
Would dog owners and their pets overwhelm more welcoming establishments for this duo? I doubt. Not everyone is like me, or others, who view their dogs as palliative, but not essential, pets.
In the mid-1940s, I remember Marshall Field’s ad on the fourth floor of Chicago’s State Street store: “Mothers can bring their kids…and let them frolic in a big playroom while they do their shopping.
Replace customers and dogs with “mothers” and “kids,” and watch the revenue soar.