Shopko announced today that they had filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection. This was not a huge surprise as the company has been struggling for years. The company announced the closure of 105 stores. As is often the case with these announcements, there is a rush to see if “your Shopko (or Sears, Kmart, etc.) is closing.”
On a recent road trip in eastern Oregon and Washington, I traveled through Walla Walla, WA. and visited a Shopko store. The store is located in the Wall Walla Town Center, a recently redeveloped mall. Prior to redevelopment it was the Blue Mountain Mall that had opened in1989, was considered a “dead mall” in the 2000s and went bankrupt in 2012. While the Walla Walla store that I visited will remain open, the store itself has the feeling one gets as of late in a Sears or Kmart.
It did not help that it was located next to this Gottschalks store.
Gottschalks went bankrupt themselves in July of 2009. This store has been vacant for nearly 10 years adjacent to the Shopko.
Location, location, location.
Lord & Taylor, one of New York City’s oldest and iconic department stores, has closed up shop after 104 years.
On opening day in 1914, 75000 customers streamed through their front doors. The amenities of the store included several restaurants, separate roof top lunch rooms for male and female associates, a doctor and dentist office, gymnasium and a concert hall with a built-in pipe organ.
WeWork will be the new tenant.
On a recent visit to one of the tonier shopping areas in Vancouver BC, I ran across an example of how the 1%’ers shop.
Of course, Versace shoppers would not be driving Civics. Parked out front.
I am always on the lookout for retail brands that expand their reach by merchandising in airports. On a recent lay-over in Seattle, I ran across this vending machine.
Beecher’s is a small artisanal cheesemaker in Seattle.
Muji of Japan recently opened a store in a storied retail location. The store is located in the 100 year old Meier & Frank building in downtown Portland returning a “department store” to this respected storefront.
The name is derived from Mujirushi (no-brand) Ryōhin (quality goods), Muji is noted by its design minimalism, emphasis on recycling, avoidance of waste in production and packaging, and no-logo or “no-brand” policy.
Inventory includes men’s and women’s clothing, home furnishings, food and stationary items. Also included in the store is a coffee shop and an alteration center.
Stopped by my area Dick’s Sporting Goods where I found a deeply discounted shirt that I could not pass up. This is the time of year when stores can be busy and lines can be long. That certainly was the case at Dick’s.
When I arrived at the checkout there were 12 customers in front of me when I glanced at my watch and wondered how long it would take to pay for the shirt. There were only two cashiers working and I debated whether I would wait in line or pass on the shirt. I decided to wait. I progressed through the line and finished paying for my shirt. Glancing at my watch, I realized that only four minutes had passed! That is a clearance rate that Wal-Mart would be proud of.
The cashiers definitely hustled. I was still treated friendly and professionally. They still took the time to check if I was a member of their loyalty club (I am). And they still promoted their fundraising program to fund kid’s sports ( donated $5 on a $25 purchase.
Being quick, friendly and efficient is always important at our registers. At the Holidays, this is particularly important. Well done, Dick’s Sporting Goods.
These were hanging outside of the door of my hotel room in Burns, OR.