I was out doing some shopping the other day and went to our local outlet mall looking for a pair of athletic pants. They are nothing more than fancy, dressy sweat pants but they are comfortable and as a matter of fact I was wearing a pair when I went into their makers store.
I was greeted warmly by the greeter/security at the front of the store as I continued into the store looking for the pants. There was an employee wandering in my general direction. As he passed, without making eye contact or slowing down, he asked if I was doing okay. Without hearing my response, he continued on his way.
All I wanted to know was if they had the pants I was wearing in stock and where they might be located. A transactional customer that was looking to make a quick purchase. Easy money. But this employee did not have the inclination to greet me in a proper fashion. In fact, I bet that if you had asked him, he would have said that he had properly greeted me and that I did not need any help. I would like to think that he had been trained to greet customers as part of his on-boarding. But his greeting did not count. Other than giving him the peace of mind that he had greeted me, it was completely ineffective.
( I soon found what I was looking for and quickly made my purchase.)
On a day that J C Penney announced that they were leaving the appliance business, I saw this sign listing some of the legacy departments that were still offered at our local store.
Update: An additional 139 stores was added to the closure list on February 9th.
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.
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.