‘What a shame HMV is disappearing’, I said to a colleague a few days ago, echoing the thoughts of thousands across the country, I’m sure; ‘I still remember the first time I went into their Oxford Street store’. This was one lunchtime, and I was busy searching Amazon for a 1st birthday pressie for a friend’s baby. The irony. I’m as guilty as anyone for taking the default option and buying most things online nowadays. Particularly those for Scrip.
When I was pregnant, I took great pleasure in popping into Mamas and Papas, Mothercare and The Little White Company and browsing the aisles of all sorts of baby bits and pieces. Everything was so pretty (we knew we were having a girl) and so miniature! And there was so much choice. But that’s when I had a bit more money and a lot more time.
Now I buy the majority of Scrip’s essentials – and some lovely extras – online. My friends and I swap tips and links for the best places to buy nappies in bulk, find robust travel cots, swimming rings and baby toys on the web. I’ve introduced a few friends to eBay and they’re busy searching for their snowsuits and selling their sterilisers to the highest bidders.
We can buy for our babies online on the bus, when nipping out for a coffee or in bed. A few clicks and it’s done and off the (seemingly endless) list. Even for more important purchases – like a new pushchair – I’m often inclined to scan the reviews on a few different sites and make my choice without setting foot in a shop.
I’m sure I save money and I can buy things quickly and easily, which is all important, particularly now I’m back at work. But, with the unfortunate cases of HMV and Jessops firmly in mind, I’m also keen that I don’t forget the experience of actually browsing in person. The high street is so important and I do want to do my bit to support the likes of Mothercare – which was the go-to shop for my mum when I was little. It would be a shame to neglect these kind of stores to the point of administration.
For me, the best thing is probably a mixture of the two. The internet is important and ingrained but, next time I need a new bib or original christening pressie – which will be quite soon – I’ll also make an effort to pop into my local shops. If nothing else, I’m sure Scrip would like a chance to pull a few things off the shelves. To loosely coin a marketing phrase, the bricks should be as important as the clicks.