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Freedom To Shop

As we approach Independence Day 2018, it’s worth considering the many freedoms that we as Americans enjoy. You know the ones guaranteed by the Constitution and Bill of Rights like freedom of speech, freedom to bear arms, freedom of assembly and association, to say nothing of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”


Let me add one that we often overlook: Freedom to shop. Today, more than ever, if you have the means, you have the freedom to buy what you want when you want it and from whom you want to buy it. Stores are open more hours than ever. Does anyone remember “blue laws?” They used to prohibit not just alcohol sales on Sundays but ALL retail activity. Online has ushered in 24/7/365 availability to browse and buy. Discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed or religion that once kept people from exercising their freedom to shop has been largely eradicated.


With that freedom comes consequences. Store open and close with increased velocity as we exercise our right to decide whether the products, services, prices and promotions serve us well or not. A retailer or brand who missteps has precious little time to change course or face extinction. Even big players like Toys’R’Us who shuttered their last US stores this past weekend aren’t immune. On the other, someone who does some or all of those things better can grow quickly.


Appreciate the power and the freedom that you possess as an American. It’s part of what makes this country great and our economy vibrant.