Why a “Brick & Mortar” is Worth a Visit This Season

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It’s no secret that Amazon is everyone’s go-to shopping destination for the holiday season – It’s too convenient not to be. But Amazon can’t do it all. There are some things you just can’t get from an online shopping experience.

It might be time you paid a little visit to your favorite brick and mortar and remind yourself of what you’ve been missing.

Willow and I were visiting some friends in Waco, TX a few weeks back and they told us that before we left, we had to go see the new Tecovas store that just opened downtown. Neither of us were in the market for a new pair of boots, but they hyped it up so much that I was genuinely excited to go see it for myself.

Hannah would be graduating from college in three weeks, but for now, she was happy to help me find a pair of boots that were just right. She was engaging and conversational – two things that we used to take for granted, but now are welcome surprises. Four different sizes later, (I never really fixed a broken pinky toe, so sizing is always a bit interesting) she was still helpful, still smiling, and made sure that I didn’t feel any pressure to make a purchase – another wonderful surprise.

Amazon can’t offer you a drink while you peruse their latest offerings, but a brick and mortar sure can, and boy did I feel special! Justin got me his favorite – A whiskey neat from the distillery down the road. As I sat at the bar, (Yes, this place had a bar with room for 4) I enjoyed my whiskey, watched the cars drive by, and honestly didn’t want my shopping experience to end. I wasn’t hurried, I didn’t feel pressure from the sales staff, and every person that I talked to was more than willing to make conversation.

I can’t remember the last time I was this

excited to go to a brick and mortar, but here I was, looking forward to a downtown shopping trip. It felt antiquated – in a good way.

In a word, I felt welcomed.

I was a little worried that I had built it up too much in my head, but those worries were put to rest the minute I saw the storefront. They had made a hundred year old historic building their home and not taken any shortcuts in the process. It was clear that each detail received its due attention and Tecovas

actually wanted to be in this brick and mortar.

The boots that I really wanted were actually only available online – go figure – but I never would have decided on that pair, or even to buy from this brand, if it wasn’t for this experience in the little world that they created for me at the corner of 7th and Washington.

It wasn’t a matter of convenience – for the store or the customer.

Tecovas wanted to create an experience for its customers that it couldn’t create online and its customers wanted to do what they couldn’t do online – touch, smell, converse, try-on.

There will always be something missing from an online interaction, even as brands have become experts at creating an online presence that leaves a lasting impression on their audience. A website can inspire you through words and pictures, but its hands are tied when it comes to the rest of the senses. You have to be in-person to experience the visceral reaction of smelling boot leather or relaxing on a comfortable couch while a genuinely helpful salesperson walks you through the process of finding the right fit for you.

going to come back as the leading approach any time soon, but there’s just something missing about how most of us shop today. There’s less fun, less personal connection, and less of a story to tell.

When your friend at the holiday party says, “Great shoes, where did you get them?”, no one is excited to hear, “Online. 10% off because I gave them my email.”

I couldn’t walk out of the store with that pair of boots, but I did find a denim jacket with a corduroy collar that fit the bill. In a weird way, I wanted to walk out with a memento that I could associate with this experience.

Now, whenever I wear this denim jacket, I won’t remember a cardboard box delivered on my doorstep – I’ll remember the conversations, the whiskey neat, and the handshake at the register. Let me know when Amazon can give you that.

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