The Changing Retail Landscape

By Mike Kalasnik from Fort Mill, USA [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Even if you have not been paying close attention to the news, we are sure that you have noticed the retail landscape is changing. Gone are the days when people did the majority of their shopping at brick-and-mortar outlets, while saving online shopping for either emergencies or special occasions. If anything, things are the opposite of what they used to be. When Amazon first appeared, it was primarily a book retailer. Now they sell everything you can think of and some people take advantage of that fact several times a week. The convenience is difficult to argue and the price is often lower than what you commonly see in a regular store, due to their business model.

This has resulted in a distinct change of habits when it comes to shopping for many people. Some people only go to brick-and-mortar stores now in order to try products out. Once they are satisfied that the item is what they want, they then buy it online at a lower price. As you can imagine, that has drastically cut into the bottom line of many retailers that rely on the majority of their sales from physical locations.

The number of retailer bankruptcy in 2017 has been staggering, including such major chains as Sears and Toys “R” Us. As difficult as it is to imagine that retail landscape without such prominent players, this is increasingly becoming the norm as more and more people do their shopping from home. It is likely to increase in the future as so many young people are increasingly used to online shopping, so they will be very difficult to lure into a physical store going forward.

“Adapt or die”seems like a blunt way to put it, but it really is the case. Expect more retail giants to fold their tent and leave town before the decade is out.

Tips That Can Help You Live With Anxiety

Do you find yourself feeling anxious? Frankly, we would be very surprised to hear someone claim that they never experience anxiety. It is a very normal part of living, but also something that most people get over pretty quickly or only experience on occasion. Anxiety becomes a genuine problem when you experience it on a regular basis and it has a negative impact on your quality of life and/or ability to work.

Here are some tips that can help you to successfully live with anxiety:

Seek professional help

If you feel that anxiety is creating substantial problems for you, it never hurts to get a professional opinion. Anxiety is a very common problem, so you should not feel bad about seeing a therapist for it. One advantage that comes with this being such an everyday issue is that the therapist will have many ideas on how to tackle the problem. The two of you will work together and come up with the treatment plan that will make anxiety less of a problem for you.

Employ distractions

If you feel anxiety coming on, try doing something that will occupy your mind so that anxiety will be shuffled off into the background of your mind. Music, movies, reading, socializing…these are just a few things you can employ.

Exercise

Study after study reveals that the average North American does not get enough exercise. As it turns out, exercise can benefit not only your body, but also your mind. Exercising produces “feel-good” endorphins, which are brain chemicals that improve mood. These can help you to relax, and, in doing so, reduce anxiety.

Take deep breaths

It sounds simplistic, but taking deep breaths can really help to slow down your blood pressure and reduce anxiety. This is also something that you can do quite easily and anywhere.

Do You Binge Watch?

The VCR revolutionized the way we watched TV. Not only could we record something and then run it later, but it was also now possible to save a bunch of episodes from a show and watch them back-to-back.

Home video companies started releasing TV shows on videocassette and this practice intensified dramatically with the arrival of DVD. That format’s capacity meant that many episodes of a series could fit on a single dual layer disc. Depending on how long a series lasted, you could conceivably include every show in one just boxset. The capacity increased even further with the arrival of Blu-ray.

Streaming services like Netflix made it even more convenient to go nuts and binge watch, particularly since the site is designed to automatically start playing the next episode whenever you finish one.

For some, this became the most common way to digest television. On the plus side, watching one episode after another can keep up the suspense and interest. It makes a television series seem almost like an extra long feature film.

On the downside, binging can become a major time suck, taking up many hours of your day, week, or even month. There are so many options available, you can theoretically go from one binging situation to another.

Of course, another reason many people binge is to avoid commercials. DVDs, Blu-rays, and streaming services are usually commercial free, and you can always record shows and then easily skip over the ads.

The way we consume media has changed in ways that few could have imagined. It used to take years to watch a show, one episode at a time over a period of weeks. Now, it possible to binge your way through a series in only a matter of days!

What is your preference? What is the best series you have ever binged?