About 25 years ago the news would report on the "disappearance of the Mom and Pop store." I never quite understood until recently.
Growing up in the 80's I witnessed the growth of big businesses. There was Caldor, A&S, Great Eastern (similar to Marshalls) and Brent City. You walked in, looked around and made your purchases. You never spoke to a store clerk and barely spoke to the cashier. The same could be said for our shopping experiences today. My parents however would talk about how when they grew up they knew all of the shopkeepers in their neighborhoods. The butcher would have your meat cut just the way you wanted and waiting for you. The dress shop would actually measure you to make sure you were getting the right size. The hardware store shopkeeper actually helped you find exactly what you needed and told you how to use it. You didn't have to walk around for a mile to find he guy wearing the orange vest, who as it turns out " doesn't work in that department"
There was the telephone company who sent someone to fix your phone right away. There was no automated message asking you to put your account number in then after 20 min when you finally get someone on the phone, they ask you for your account number. There was no bundling of your utilities to allegedly save you money so that when one thing goes out, they all go out. There was no calling the company 100x and having each technician tell you something different and that you have to fix it yourself.
There was real live customer service and also a healthy competition in business where they actually earned your loyalty instead of tricking you into being loyal. There were no monopolies where one company could dominate an area and charge whatever they wanted. Businesses were there to serve you and not themselves. They actually earned your money