What happened to brick and mortar stores?

I mean, I understand the internet and DLC is real convenient and with the rise of streaming, it's not the only way to acquire games.  But it feels like games stores lost the magic they had in the 90s, and I think it's because they sold out and started focusing on selling collectibles over stocking quality games, and customer care. What do you think?

  • I disagree. They used to be that magical place, because you just couldn't get the info about games anywhere else (okay, there were paper magazines for gaming), so you could discover so many different games just by going through all the game boxes. That's something that just isn't needed anymore. Just hit youtube and you see the same and more. 

  • AI is going to destroy the Internet with fake product images, fake reviews, fake Web pages, etc., so brick and mortar stores might re-emerge as customers seek factual info again. Just explore the new Threads social media platform to see what I mean - 80% of the accounts there are fake - a gazillion deepfake fashion model videos, endless Generative AI fashion model images, tons of AI bots asking silly questions, etc. For all you know, I might even be a bot   Robot   AI needs to be reigned in.

    In the USA, it's unfortunate that in-store theft of product up to ~$1,000 is only classified as a misdemeanor, since many thieves have been taking advantage of these lax shoplifting laws recently... especially in San Francisco.

  • Honestly, if this is a reason why physical stores come back, I'll take it. I don't believe it SHOULD be the ultimate reason why physical stores come back or stay, but if it helps, then it helps. I prefer viewing/interacting with product directly before I buy a lot more than making assumptions on its performance, quality, taste for food and fit for clothes before I purchase.

  • I agree, Kelie  Thumbsup  I definitely prefer purchasing clothing hands-on. The unfortunate thing with online retailers is that manufactures change the materials used in products for the same item over time, but this isn't always conveyed in the online product info. I recently decided to purchase some sweatpants online, so I checked what brand my former university was using to print its logo on, Champ. I figured that should be a good reference to go on, but when I read the reviews on Amazon for the same Champ style without the university's logo, people had mentioned that the quality of the product had worsened from their previous purchases of the same item. I took a risk and bought the sweatpants. Unfortunately, the quality of the fabric was worse than I expected, and worse than other sweatpants I had purchased in the past. I would have purchased the university's sweatpants if they had offered free shipping, but I probably still would have been disappointed by the product quality. Whether it's due to inflation and retailers trying to keep prices down, or retailers trying to sell less-quality products for the same price, I don't know, but buyers beware.

  • Businesses chasing profits and consumers get blinded with the virtual and fancy virtual worlds

  • What happened to brick and mortar stores?  They're still around.  I'm pretty sure Home Depot sells both. :-)

  • I hope that brick and mortar stores come back also, but the $1000 misdemeanor isn't all of the U.S., it's most famously California, and maybe some other states. I live in a decidedly Red state, and there are a lot harsher punishments here. "Habitual" shoplifters are charged with felonies, not to mention Stand your ground laws being more in favor of the property owner than in Blue states.

    I know that isn't what this discussion's about, but I thought I'd throw it out there.

  • Unless you're a big box store franchise, the cost to run a brick and mortar store is just too much.. rent, merchandise, staffing.. it all adds up

  • They aren't needed anymore. I would never go to one for anything since it's far easier to get stuff online. When it comes to PC gaming the vast majority do not have physical editions, so no point in anything besides the Storefront (Steam, Epic, etc). Then when it comes to consoles and physical copies delivery is just easier. I can get stuff without having to drive saving time and money. 

  • The shift to collectables did cause some of the "magic" to go. Though the collectable as profit makes sense since sales were moving on-line.  Problem is when the main product is no longer truly physical the physical stores becomes obsolete.