Hello to you all, and welcome to today's short narrative sponsored by America's favorite place to shop online, BargainBrute. Today we are going to take a look at a little bit of history, hopefully, to shed some light on how we used to find retail units back in the 1950s, finishing at the end of the 1970s, who would occasionally have discount bargains and even special discounted days which were arranged to entice us into their stores for them to get a bit of our hard-earned cash.
We start our story with a quick look back at the history of discounting and where people used to find those sometimes elusive discount bargains long before we had use of the internet.
Authors note: Although back in the above period, tests had been carried out in an attempt to create a platform where the average member of the public could use the internet to shop online, because of the technology of the time, the internet was too slow to carry out any meaningful internet browsing, so slow that most prototypes which came anywhere close to being profitable, were abandoned.
Furthermore, the powers to be at the time deemed that the internet of that period would only be utilized by the military, governments, and some lucky businesses who were mainly part of the economic currency markets, which were primarily based in New York or the financial districts of London in the United Kingdom.
So, for us, the average everyday members of the public, well, we would have to wait until the late 1970s before an affordable desktop computer would become available to us. Even then, the system was so slow it would take forever to surf the internet or one page of a website to load.
Before we go any further, it may surprise you that even back in those old days past, the average person on the street was, just like us today, always searching for a good bargain, which in time made discount stores so popular that they began to entice many people away from the traditional brick and mortar supermarkets. Departments stores, for example, Macy's and Sears, just like online shopping retail outlets, are doing to today's traditional brick and mortar shopping centers.
The heyday of the discount bargain store happened during the mid-1960s, roundabout 1966. They would remain trendy right up to the mid-1990s when online bargain hunting took off when faster and more affordable desktop computers arrived on the scene.
However, many traditional online, discount brick and mortar retail outlets did not cease trading altogether: some even managed to stick around up until the present date, still drawing massive crowds to their discounted stores. Poundland and Dollarama are both prime examples of this.
Still, with the subject above, the American highways and city streets were awash with discount bargain stores in those early days. Some are household names even up to the present day with very recognizable names.
Names such as Ames, Gibson's Discount Center, Two Guys, Kmart, Fisher's Big Wheel, Mammoth Mart, Bradlees, Caldor, Howard Brothers Discount Stores, Kuhn's-Big K which bt the way became so successful that Walmart purchased them back in 1981, and my favorite as it brings back so many good memories, Woolco, which unfortunately closed back in 1983, after being broke up and partially sold to the American mega-giant Walmart, and not Amazon.com.
Unfortunately for the above Bargain Discount stores, black clouds were beginning to form just over the horizon. It looked like the days of the traditional highstreet discount bargain store were numbered.
Many were now facing fierce competition from new arrivals. Some were even beginning to feel slightly worried about the new-fangled internet, which managed to raise its head over town and city horizons in those early days. However, something else was happening, something far worse than the internet and fierce competition, and it took everyone by surprise; the Recession hit.
Yes, the recession of 1981 to 1982 struck fast and without any warning, and worse still, no one seemed able to stop it. In fact, it grew bigger and bigger with every passing day, thousands of people went bankrupt, and hundreds of shops and businesses just shut down. It would take two years before it managed to come to an end and claw back the GDP it had lost.
Yes, everyone breathed a sigh of relief when the 1981 – 1982 recession finally ended. However, this period of relief would not last long as just like the first previous recession, suddenly in 1990, it happened all over again, not as quickly or as steep as the first one, but it lasted much longer. It would be a full three years before the economic world managed to crawl its way back from oblivion. This too was a disaster for many companies, including our popular discount bargain high street stores.
Yes, they were terrible times. Many of the discount stores never really recovered from the two back-to-back recessions, which sadly caused many of them to be either broken up or sold off to the significant retail conglomerates of the day, never to be seen again.
Back in the early days following the recessions, some major mega conglomerates used the hard times to get rid of competition by just buying them up and really not doing anything for them but run them into oblivion.
For myself, I am glad that I can now go online and surf the internet to find companies like our hosts BargainBrute.com, in the knowledge that I can shop in peace, find many discounted top quality bargains, all at the lowest price possible, and what's more, delivered directly to my home.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, I have finished this trip down memory lane, and I hope you enjoyed the subject matter. I also look forward to seeing you all once again tomorrow.