The retail stores killed by the internet that people miss the most, according to Reddit users AP Photo/Koji Sasahara
Online shopping has made it easier and faster than ever to make purchases that you used to be able to do only in brick-and-mortar stores, but there are aspects of the pre-internet retail industry that some people still miss.
A Reddit user
recently posed a question in the sub-Reddit, r/AskReddit, about which stores and businesses users miss the most that have been "killed" by the internet. The question was met with thousands of responses from users, many of who were nostalgic about now-defunct stores they frequented in their childhood and brick-and-mortar retailers who closed because of dominating online competitors.
We picked out the top answers, based on the number of points - a combination of upvotes and downvotes by fellow reddit users - the store received. Take a look at the most popular answers from Reddit users about the stores they miss the most that have been put out of business by the advent of the internet era:
Hastings Entertainment — 4,700 points
Hastings Entertainment — 4,700 points
Hastings may not be as well known as Blockbusters, but the retail chain offered video rentals, and also sold movies, video games, and other forms of entertainment. It
filed for bankruptcy in 2016, and closed all of its stores that year.
"Hastings was THE spot for us small town kids to go hang out at on the weekends,"
one Reddit user said. "I had my first cigarette in a Hastings parking lot." Hardware stores — 5,600 points
Hardware stores — 5,600 points
Independent hardware stores
have been disappearing over the years, in favor of chains like Ace Hardware and Lowe's. A Reddit user said they missed the knowledge of "the guy in the hardware store" who "actually knows what tool does what and can help you find the best fasteners and stuff." Borders Books — 9,000 points
Borders Books — 9,000 points
The bookstore chain Borders
closed in 2011 after 40 years in business, even as Barnes & Nobles perseveres in the Amazon-dominated business.
"I used to hang out at my local one after school every day. Went to the release parties for four Harry Potter books too,"
one respondent wrote. "I remember the way it smelled, the way the coffee tasted, the comfortable spaces where you could sit and read. I miss that." Vinyl record stores — 9,100 points
Vinyl record stores — 9,100 points
Although vinyl is making a small comeback
thanks to hipsters, music streaming and digital downloads have made record stores all but obsolete.
"I could spend an hour in there,"
a Reddit user wrote of the once widespread record stores. "I loved looking at the new albums, the ones my mom wouldn't let me get yet because they had parental advisory, poring over the artwork." Nature Company stores — 10,600 points
Nature Company stores — 10,600 points
A personal favorite of this reporter, The Nature Company was full of educational toys, science experiments, and anything a curious kid might want. Discovery acquired The Nature Company back in 1996, and all its storefronts
were closed by 2000.
"It was great, then one day it was just gone," Reddit user
u/FightingBlaze77 said in a comment. "Wish it was still around today, so that it would still be cool to learn." Used book stores — 11,400 points
Used book stores — 11,400 points
Bookstores selling cheap used books are still around, but
not nearly as abundant as they once were. Today, in-store book sales are on the decline as many turn to Amazon for digital copies and books delivered right to their doors.
"There was this hole in the wall used bookstore my dad used to take me to,"
a Reddit user said. "You'd walk in and when I tell you thousands of books, I mean it ... It was filled up to the ceiling and on all walls and tight aisles just full of books." RadioShack — 14,100 points
RadioShack — 14,100 points
RadioShack used to be the place to explore thousands of dollars of electronic toys and fancy items you would beg your parents to buy. But after filing for bankruptcy twice, RadioShack started
to shutter its stores in 2017 after nearly 100 years in business.
"I used to always go in there with friends and look at all the remote control helicopters and the crazy TiVo devices and everything that I thought was so awesome,"
one Reddit user said. "It's so weird how those things were so revolutionary and now it's just like, 'Oh yeah you can get that at Walmart for $5.'" Hobby shops — 19,000 points
Hobby shops — 19,000 points
Instead of arts-and-crafts chains like Michaels and Hobby Lobby, many Reddit users said they used to visit small-town hobby stores for model airplane parts and other collectors' items.
"I f---king loved hobby stores as a kid," one user
wrote on the thread. "There was a specific smell to those places too. Some combination of all the boxes, old wooden flooring, it was kind of intoxicating." Blockbuster — 19,000 points
Blockbuster — 19,000 points
Giant movie-rental chain Blockbuster predated the era of Netflix as the place to rent movies and videos. Sadly, Blockbuster stores
started closing in 2013, although one still remains today in Bend, Oregon.
"For some reason, it was way more enjoyable to stroll along the store looking for rental possibilities than it is to browse movies on Netflix/Amazon,"
a Reddit user commented. Arcades — 31,000 points
Arcades — 31,000 points
While arcade games have seen
a resurgence presence in bars, transforming them into adult playgrounds, arcades featuring Pac-Man, Space Invaders and Street Fighter no longer exist as a standard venue for children to spend hours feeding quarters into machines after school.
"My dad used to drop me off at a nickel arcade with 5 bucks,"
one Reddit user wrote. "I felt like a KING."