Back in 1976, I wanted to send Diane some flowers for her birthday. She was still living in Valley Stream, NY, at the time, and I was already in Boca Raton, FL. Most people would have used FTD, but I was worried that the order wouldn’t get there in time (since it was New Year’s Eve), so I went to the library, which had a huge collection of Yellow Pages, found a florist in Valley Stream, and splurged on a long distance call so I could order directly from them. And they came through.
Last week, I wanted to thank a colleague for help above and beyond the call of duty by sending her some wine. She lives just outside Des Moines, Iowa; fortunately, Iowa is a reasonable state as far as wine shipping laws go, but I thought I could do better than picking a big Internet wine merchant. I Googled and found Ingersoll Wine and Spirits, (who had a better selection of California and Oregon Pinot Gris on their Web site than either BevMo or Wine.com!). And they delivered in one day, far faster than I could have gotten delivery from a Web giant.
I’m glad that the Internet hasn’t quite managed to kill local merchants.