There was a time when our family would go “downtown” to the JCPenney department store to shop. It was a big event. Mom got the children dressed, dad had us board the bus or train while he paid the fare. The kids battled for the window seat to see the sights. When not settling squabbles, mom checked her shopping list. Dad read the newspaper, but he’d scowl when mom mentioned something costly we needed. Mom managed these trips, dad was conductor and finance assistant.
In later years dad drove with the kids fidgeting in the back seat of the car instead of riding the bus or train. Mom sat beside him, whispering that if the kids behaved we might see a drive-in movie on the way home from the shopping center. We wandered staring at the stores while dad headed for the food stand beside the JCPenney store entrance. He’d sit at a table with his favorite magazine or book and wait while we accompanied mom on her “expeditions” (as dad called them) through the mall stores. We’d emerge later exhilarated, laden with bags and boxes, while dad looked like his entire paycheck had vanished in a tenth of the time it took him to earn it.
Today we make our store visits, bringing the kids along like mom and dad always did. But they join us before the desktop screen and look at JCPenney’s webpage while we load the virtual “shopping cart” with our selections. And we’ve taught them to use Groupon coupons and promo codes to get the best prices for their purchases. Now we don’t have to leave our home to get to our favorite place for shopping. JCPenney’s webpage contains products as current as their prices are reasonable. And they still have fantastic deals like their current Groupon offering up to 80% off on brand new clearance items. Their products, deals and service over the web match the same quality we found when we got off the elevator at their department store we shopped at with our parents. The one thing different is dad’s response to our computer shopping “expeditions” today. Now he spends nearly as much time as the rest of us using Groupon deals for his wardrobe and for home entertainment as we once did buying games. His only concern is how our computer shopping interferes with his sports-watching.