Maybe people have grown tired of scooping up cheap Chinese trinkets.  Maybe people have decided getting trampled isn’t fun.  Maybe more and more people are shopping online.  The latter was a theory the clerk at the checkout and I agreed upon.  She explained it wasn’t as busy on Friday morning as she and her fellow associates at Walmart expected.

Though you wouldn’t have known by the traffic in the parking lot at 5:15 a.m.  I parked out near Cheney Drive and was happy to find a parking spot.  I wasn’t in search of ten-dollar toasters or 99 dollar TV sets.  I needed a few groceries.  I forgot to take my list Thursday morning and didn’t buy the trash bags and distilled water I needed.  I picked up those items today, along with some potato salad, rolls, and cat food.

Grocery Shopping Easy

The grocery end of Walmart was wide open.  You could have shot a cannon down the cheese and meat aisle and not hit anyone.  When I moved closer to the pet section I noticed the other end of the store was busy.  A lot of people with carts stuffed with really big boxes.  They didn’t look to be in a rush and most people I encountered weren’t in a rush.

At the checkout, I saw something I rarely see.  Most weekend mornings, only one checkout is manned and most customers are funneled to self-serve.  All the manned checkouts were open but the clerks were just standing there politely and waiting for business.

Online Sales are Booming

Walmart is increasingly creeping up on Amazon when it comes to online shopping items.  Over the last 15 years, I’ve also found that the turnaround on items I’ve ordered over the computer is one day!  My clerk explained it’s because the item is often already in the store or can be shipped from a neighboring store.

The day will come when most shopping is online and to increase margins, even a great many successful brick and mortar stores will close.  For now, I really enjoy mornings talking with friendly clerks.

LOOK: The top holiday toys from the year you were born

With the holiday spirit in the air, it’s the perfect time to dive into the history of iconic holiday gifts. Using national toy archives and data curated by The Strong from 1920 to today, Stacker searched for products that caught hold of the public zeitgeist through novelty, innovation, kitsch, quirk, or simply great timing, and then rocketed to success.

LOOK: Things from the year you were born that don't exist anymore

The iconic (and at times silly) toys, technologies, and electronics have been usurped since their grand entrance, either by advances in technology or breakthroughs in common sense. See how many things on this list trigger childhood memories—and which ones were here and gone so fast you missed them entirely.

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