I am a retail specialty shop merchant. It makes no difference what I sell, call them widgets, and my store is the Widgetry.
You are consumers. You are the lifeblood of my widgetry. You are becoming fewer. More of you are buying your widgets on-line, or from big box stores, department stores, discounters, close-out merchants et. al. Fewer and fewer of you are visiting me and my fellow widgeters. Too many of you have fallen prey to the notion that price is the prime component of value.
You have forgotten that when you needed advice as to which widget of the many available suited your needs best, you called me. Or, that time when the widget broke, I was able to fix it. I've sent your parts to you in the mail; and I have delivered widgets to your door. I have special ordered unique parts for all your widgets and I have installed those parts.
Sure other persons selling what looks to be the same or similar widgets are getting lower prices for their widgets, but they do not maintain a repair bench, nor do they maintain an on hand inventory to hand you your widgets, and they certainly do not have people to answer questions. They do of course have forms, and voice mail systems, and formulae for self help.
What will you do when your only choice will be a new widget and the old one is in the land fill. What will you do when the only widgets will all come from China, or Bangladesh, or Maylasia etc., etc., because no-one can afford to make them in the USA for the prices you have come to expect them to cost.
You have fallen prey to the advertising that says constantly falling prices is a reality without sacrificing quality of product or service.
You buy lots of things on the internet from distant merchants because then you save on the sales taxes. Then when your town council, or city government reports that the schools did not collect enough sales tax revenue to support the music program, you cannot make the connection.
When the industrial plant outsources its manufacturing to China, you complain about greedy profiteers, but you cannot make the connection to your own shopping habits, and the greedier executives who have convinced you that voice mail, and forms , and e-pinions can substitute for hands-on service.
You consumers need to come to your senses before there are none of us widgeters.