Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I've always hated shopping, and usually don't do it other than groceries.  Convenient because my wife loves it.  but we have mentioned how great shopping has become over the last few years because there are so many choices now--compared to say 20 years ago:local shops with local ownership; large malls like described in the diary; discount malls with incredible bargains; and now the internet which is getting more and more of our business because of the unbelievable convenience.

we live in a nice, and a mixed area,,,ethnically and financially.  It's a small town in a large metropolis area.  The small town has mainly local business, and it has that old local ownership kind of feel.  Prices are probably a little high, not much.

There are two areas more like malls--one in the city where it's more a grouping of stores, and another in a suburb where it's the real suburban mall thing.  Perhaps our one complaint is that we would use some of these stores more if they were in our small town.

Third there is the collection of outlet stores about 75 miles away, but on a drive we make somewhat regularly, that has absolutely incredible bargains.  It has 142 shops, some of which are incredible upscale places that I never would have thought would have outlet stores,,,and the discounts are 50--80%.  We think it's pretty far away from the city because if it wasn't, everyone would go there all the time,,,,avoiding these stores in the city where the merchandise is full price.

And now there is all of the convenience of the internet, where you can find things that you can't find locally--years ago we would have given up,,,,old movies for example.  and you can get bargain prices.  you can buy at the world's largest garage sale, Ebay.

And in addition there are places like WalMart, Home Depot, etc., that are all over.

So it's really incredibly improved for the consumer in the US, over the past decade or so.

l haven't lived in Europe since the early '90's, but I found at that time that things were much more expensive, and without the choices.  In fact I bought 90% of my clothes when I was back in the US, to save money.  On the other hand I loved the feel of the local high streets.  And I'm back in Europe frequently now, but not really shopping, in the sense of living there, but my sense is that things are still very expensive, and not the same level of choice.

this is not to say I wouldn't move to Europe again,,,I would of course as I love it.  Just pointing out the differences in shopping.

by wchurchill on Mon Mar 26th, 2007 at 05:21:18 AM EST

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