People like people, like interacting with people, like engaging with people and like being helped and attended by people.
Are you listening, Management?
I've been seeing a lot of stores cutting out the "people" element. Reduced staff, self-serve checkout, and the perennial problem of high turnover of the remaining (and overworked) staff, so that no one really knows what's where. And it's not like prices come down to reflect the reduced service.
This is no way to combat the Amazon menace! If you don't have people available to provide information on the products you carry, I have to whip out my Droid-O-Phone and check the specs and reviews on Amazon... in which case, why am I in your store at all?
I buy a lot of stuff over the Interwebs these days. Shopping locally? That's for perishables, stuff I need today, things that need to be fondled before buying... and things that come from friendly little local businesses, where I know the people and they know their products.
Yeah, this is totally unrelated to the main topic of the article that triggered it... but it's a rant that's been building for a while.