THE DAYS OF MOM-and-pop shops are over. The truth is that I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss them. The charm and personality of the sole proprietorship represented an era that the owner and customer could be more than friendly; they could be friends. Sadly, however, with growth comes change.

Outliers aside, since the days of mom-and-pop shops, we have moved on. The masses chose price and convenience over friendships; not because they wanted to, but because they had to. The evolution is similar to the muscle car transition. While a few still cruise around (and always will), the economy has moved us into a new era of smarter, more efficient vehicles that run on alternative forms of fuel. The truth that so many forget, however, is that the “economy” is not a force on its own; we did this. We all did this. 

While some advocates still fight for mom-and-pop, they fail to realize that that battle is lost. Furthermore, while fighting the dead fight, they neglect the new, much more terrifying economic battle that has begun since the end of the war for mom-and-pop. I call it: the-great-battle-for-American-storefronts-before-they-close-and-get-replaced-by-foreign-owned-much-more-efficient-stores-and-our-economy-loses-the-money-altogether. 

To you mom-and-pop advocates, I say this: I love small shops, too, and respect and admire your passion to keep it alive. However, it was time to leave mom-and-pop and join us in the fight for American Big Box a long time ago. At this point, we have much more to worry about as an economically-dependant nation than which American store we buy from. At this point, everybody carries the same products so the masses will naturally seek out the more efficient and less costly source for them. While some say, “I hate shopping at a place where I can get mustard and tires on the same isle,” I say this, “thanks for the convenience of having everything I could possibly need and saving me the effort and inconvenience of having to drive all over town to a multitude to shops.”

Big Box stores will always win because, regardless if people care more about cost and efficiency, it has become a means of survival for the individual.