Meet me at the mall

Shopping in person has more benefits than shopping virtually

Call me old-fashioned, but while my friends are clicking away on their favorite shopping websites, you can find me at the mall with my mom. We hit our favorite stores and eat way too many snacks. Above all, we bond. Whether in the fitting room or at the make-up counter, we connect.

Since the late 2010s, online shopping has become popularized in society. The simplicity of buying something with a click of a button from anywhere in the world may seem much more attractive than going out to purchase it. However, the reality is that online shopping isn’t better than going out to shop.

Ever since COVID-19, the popularity of online shopping increased significantly, and consequently, many stores such as Neiman Marcus and Lord & Taylor have begun to close. While the pandemic played a large role in these occurrences, the increased use of online shopping has also made the transition back to shopping in person difficult.

The loss of these stores means the loss of about 90,000 jobs. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), six in ten Americans have worked in retail. In May 2019, retail occupations dropped to a three-year low. There are a variety of reasons for this, but the increasing popularity of online shopping plays a significant role in this trend.

Shopping in person provides numerous benefits for consumers as well, as they are able to try on clothes, handle merchandise and assess their quality before purchasing them. Because online vendors can have misleading descriptions, in many cases it is easier to shop in stores to guarantee proper quality and fit.

Not only might quality be worse, but online ordering has negative environmental effects. According to, products’ packaging significantly contributes to carbon dioxide emissions as every year, three billion trees are pulped to produce 241 million tons of shipping cartons. 

Clearly, online shopping has serious environmental concerns, but it also limits social interaction among younger generations. Malls used to be essential hang-out spots for me and my friends, but as online shopping becomes more popular, it has made less sense for us to meet up there. 

I believe that the simple act of getting out of the house and going to a store, or the mall, can not only improve your shopping experience, but will also prove to be beneficial for your mental health. According to a 2021 study presented by, twice as many minors experience loneliness as they did ten years ago. A safe place to hang out in a group, such as the mall, can help alleviate this loneliness. 

The next time you open your computer to shop online, consider going to the mall instead. Even though online shopping seems more convenient at the moment, shopping in person allows for so many opportunities that aren’t possible online.