Am I the only one who hates the modern day shopping experience?

I have a confession to make. It has been slowly creeping up on me but it is only recently that I have realised it.

I hate shopping centres!

This is a big deal because for years I was a shopping ninja. Stick me in front of a shopping centre and I was there in earnest. I would buy shit that I didn’t need, just because it was a bargain. Then those bargains would pile up in my cupboard, abandoned and ignored while I continued to play favourites with my wardrobe. Then eventually I would clear out my wardrobes and they would become Vinnie donations.

I used to enter a chain store and immediately see things that I NEEDED. Which is why I have 4 grey v-neck jumpers in my closet. Yes four, basically like a school uniform jumper.

This week I went shopping for jeans as I wear them every day and my “distressed” pair had become so “distressed” that they were now unwearable. So I go into the tried and tested places like Country Road, Sussan, Witchery etc and I could not even raise the enthusiasm to take off my shoes, then my pants and then try the bloody things on. So I left without any. Everything in the stores at the moment are grey or black or white. Except French Connection had a bit of green, which was pleasing.

And then there are the people. So many people dawdling around, apparently aimlessly. The slow walkers who make my tension rise.

Look, I am not saying that I will never darken the doorstep of my closest Westfield, but I am finding it more and more of a punish. Remember how Oxford Street in Paddington was years ago? Lovely, independent boutiques, cafes and bookstores staffed by the people who owned the businesses. SHAKES FIST AT FRANK LOWY! The growth of mega-centres has basically destroyed high street shopping. Everything is the same, so we all end up looking the same and having the same doona covers and mugs.

You might think I am being dramatic (Who me? Never…) but looking down from the tops level at all the people swarming around with their bags reminded me of caged rats. I ended up buying 6 sleeves of coffee from Nespresso, which is something that has me reaching for a Valium in itself, and a Diet Coke. DO NOT JUDGE ME FOR I ADORE CAFFEINE.

Is it just me?

Am I the only one who hates the modern-day shopping experience?

What do you like or loathe about it?

  • Jenni from Styling Curvy

    Try being a stylist who loathes centres. The noise and lights, hawkers and dawdlers, and don’t get me started on lack of service. I much prefer to take my clients to independent boutiques but sometimes a centre is where it’s at.

  • Kel

    With an absolute passion, I hate shopping centres. So loud. So chaotic. There is one shopping centre up here that isn’t enclosed, so that is where I go. My go-to supermarket was selected because they didn’t have those people pouncing on you in clothes that are too bright asking you to give money to things that you don’t understand and the only way to escape is to either give in and throw all your money at them in self defence or just fucking run. I’m much faster at running now. Because my go-to supermarket has re-introduced these hawkers of misfortune and guilt. The end.

  • I loathe shopping centers too. Because we live so far away from any shops, they become a whole day exercise which we only do every 4 – 6 months. I always look on line before we go so I know where we need to start, and I have a list and a plan. Much prefer online shopping – though even that is painful!

  • Heidi D

    I really hate shopping centres, they are so big & loud & crowded. I have no patience any more. If we need to walk around a lot I will either use a ride on “power shopper” as they call them at Westfield or my husband will push me in the wheelchair. After about 5 minutes I am over it. I suddenly seem to become invisible, people walk in front of the ride on or wheelchair & just stop. People talk to my husband instead of me, they also seem to like to pat me !
    I have almost given up trying to find clothes. Where is the decent but still affordable stuff hiding ? I’m not a teenager anymore but I’m not 110 either. Everything seems to be sleeveless/backless/plunging neckline/length of a belt or something my Nan would have worn.
    Once upon a time I enjoyed having a wander & a browse, now I just want to get what I need & get out as soon as I can

    • Cate Lawrence

      i hear you on the clothing!

  • GAH – I am nearly out of capsules too which means I’ll have to brave one of the largest shopping centres in Australia to get some more. Or pay WAY too much shopping (why can’t they give us free shopping?) Hate shopping because: slow people, loud music in shops and too much temptation in regards to food around me! Also, clothes that don’t fit. x

  • I’m also in the loather’s party… The closest one to us is Chadstone…OMG…that place. Humungous, overheated, NO reasonably priced food (sandwich in the food hall was $16!), and the parking is an absolute nightmare if you try to go there after 10am…and don’t even consider going mid afternoon, because all you’ll do is drive around until you’ve really lost it so you leave wondering why on earth you even thought about going in the first place… And then there’s the inevitable rising numbers of dings on the car. WHERE the hell did people’s driving skills and manners go? Parking a car in a shopping centre carpark seems to be just an invitation for other people to leave new dings in it – either from their own cars when getting in and/or out of the space next to you, or their shopping trolleys. IF there is something that I really need and I can only get it there, I plan it like a major operation and get there very early, so I’m first into the shops I need, and then make a hasty exit before the feral car park behaviour starts. Oxford Street – yes, I remember how it was. But did you ever think it would be possible to topple Chapel Street in Toorak? That used to be the mecca for indi boutiques – not any more. It’s SO boring now…and that’s Chadstone… And the entry/exit on and off the Monash freeway here and navigating Warrigal Road from mid morning on, especially on the weekends – because people are coming from absolutely everywhere to shop there instead of locally or in the city. Horrible, horrible, horrible!
    I will now stop ranting!

  • Bee

    Give me a day to myself and I am happy to go to the shopping centre. You can rarely find clothes you want that fit properly and look good. But I love wandering around the shops. A coffee and a snack, wander at my leisure and I will be a happy chicky.

  • Me

    Yep, hate them too! I have a few favourite boutiques in local strip shops that I go to otherwise it’s online. Because of my shape I can’t buy pants online, but I rarely wear them so it’s no big deal, but everything else I’m a pretty standard size. I’ve found lots of Aussie online retailers and designers that are sensational, different, fast deliveries and have great return policies. I concede and have a twice a year shopping morning at our local Westfield with my now 20 year old daughter. She knows she needs a plan ‘cos when I’m done, I’m done! She says it’s mother daughter bonding, I know it’s more about my credit card!

  • Sorry, but I love them! But I do agree that it is so sad to see the end of unique street shopping as it is only the chain stores that can afford the rent.

  • It used to be a running joke amongst my family and friends that I was only ever at one of two places – home or my local Westfield. I used to LOVE a day at the shops, but the phone walkers – you know the ones, they text and walk and then stop walking right in front of you, that annoying guy who always wants to “ask you a question” while trying to stuff a skincare sample into your hand as you briskly walk past without making eye contact, the music that has more f bombs in it than the you tube video you accidentally hit play on during the last P&C meeting – it’s all too much. So now I just go once a week instead of twice 😉

  • Sherrie Smith

    I appreciate the undercover parking and the reliability of some of the chain stores (stress lowers when I know what to expect), but the actual mega centres are like the 7th level of hell and I really hate walking around th d m on my own. If I do sol I s shop in those places, I feel like one of your aforementioned rats! Squeak!

  • Nicola

    I quite like Chatswood Chase, although they are currently doing the slowest upgrade of the escalators ever and that’s annoying me. I’m sure they’ve been at it since about last October. I hate all Westfields the world over and I will NEVER forgive them for dropping their free parking to two hours only ( they have since reversed that policy but the damage is done ). I find clothes buying very depressing these days and often I can’t summon up the enthusiasm to try anything on. I really can’t stand supermarkets now and so do that online. All those dawdling people, no staff to be found anywhere, and the stock moves every few weeks so I can never locate anything without walking around the whole shop – which is just a ploy to get me to buy more.

  • TanG

    Loath and avoid!! I find myself incredibly agitated and judgmental on the rare occasion I do need🤔 to visit (and I’m talking smaller shopping centres only)
    How can that many people be aimlessly wandering around, consuming unnecessary crap- Every.Single.Day!?
    Do people really have nothing better to do? It makes me sad on so many levels…

  • Den

    Hate the current smell of Country Road (sorry but I have told them ) & hate the smell of stores which sell products made from petroleum byproducts. They have a particular stink.

    I hope One day we’re not told that the fumes are responsible for the latest tranche of cancer cases.
    The only shopping centre I like is the newly refurbished pacific fair on the Gold Coast but it’s a bit of a hike from Sydney. Love all the outdoor spaces they’ve incorporated.

    Have always loved free standing DJs & Myer in the city from the days I first worked in the city.

    Nowadays, I really love Camilla because they have the best staff, who are always happy, best use of colour & best products & more importantly, you can try without any pressure.

  • Greetings Mrs Woog from rural Australia,

    You’re not alone. Foot traffic in shopping centres in America has dropped 50% since 2010. 15-30% of shopping malls in America will close in the next few years.

    5,100 retails stores have closed their doors in America since the beginning of the year. The total should be 8,600 by the end of the year.

    These are major retailers like Macy’s, JCPenney, and Sears who are among those shutting down stores, along with retailers like Payless, Rue21, Michael Kors, and Bebe.

    The closures are crippling hundreds of shopping malls across the US.

    And it’s not because of eCommerce. Only 8% of purchases in America are made online. And 7% in Australia.

    There are two reasons for the lack of foot traffic.

    The most important is that foot traffic has decreased because mobile phone users now window shop on their phones. And those of us with desktops window shop on our desks. And once we find what we’re looking for, we head out only to those shops.

    Amazon Prime will also be cutting foot traffic back further when their offer to try on 3 to 15 garments at home. At no cost to you. With you sending back what you don’t want. And if you buy 3 of those garments. You get a discount. Takes hold.

    This offer also extends to accessories. And shoes.

    The second reason is that Millennials, who are now a bigger market segment than Baby Boomers, aren’t shoppers. They’re too strapped with university debt of $100K to be able to afford unnecessary items.

    Baby Boomers have everything they need. They’re downsizing. Taking things to St Vincent de Paul.

    Which leaves your generation to prop up the retail sector.

    And. You are totally bored by what you see. There is very little diversity.

    This is because retailers don’t want to buy from independent makers. It’s an accounting issue. They buy from big distributors. Who can send them one invoice/account for a multitude of purchases.

    Small independent makers like me can’t factor in a third tier to our profit margin. Profit for me. Profit for the distributor. Profit for the retailer. We become too expensive because we make our products in Australia. So we aren’t part of their product mix.

    Malls in Australia will go the way of America. There are already vacant shops in our shopping centres in Bathurst NSW. Which is my nearest major shopping region.

    But there’s no indication that high street shopping will make a return.

    Rents are still high. And many high streets are ghost towns. Because of the high rents. Darling Street in Balmain. Norton Street in Leichhardt. Oxford Street.

    Back in the last century, this is where shopkeepers bought from independent makers. Like me.

    With the advent of the internet, independent makers are the companies online shoppers are buying from. We’re the ones that are thriving in difficult markets. We are the 7% doing well.

    Retail shopping will not die. It will just have to change. We still like going into a shop and talking to the shopkeeper. And the smaller the shop, the more attention we receive. We also like touching. Feeling. Seeing. Smelling A product.

    I hope this helps you with your retail malaise, Mrs Woog. You are NOT alone. ~Carol, Ironing Diva❤

  • Jenny Granger

    Keep it up Mrs Woog! I buy your Vinnies shit! Thanks 😂