I lived most of my life in the Midwest. So when I finally caught up with some friends by moving to the PNW, they excitedly shared their love for Fred Meyer, a regional chain owned by Kroger. There are amazing places similar to SuperTarget or Walmart Supercenters. But truth be told, I really never became a regular customer.
But on our recent road trip, we stopped at a Fred Meyer for some supplies and I was reminded of one thing that I, even someone who has never had children, appreciate in the larger Fred Meyer stores, Freddy’s Playland.
Freddy’s Playland is a drop-off day care offering an hour of free care for children 2 to 5 while their parent(s) do their shopping. What a great service and something that keeps Fred Meyer customers loyal. Kudos.
I will admit that I do not buy as much music as I used to. Part of it may be my age. Part of it may be the availability of music from other sources (Amazon Prime on Echo). Part of it may be that I listen almost exclusively to NPR when I am driving near home.
But one of the main reasons is that I have lost touch with Steve. Steve was not an old friend or a work colleague. He was not a music reporter for some hip website, publication or YouTube channel. No, Steve was just an employee of a record shop I used to frequent in Seattle, Silver Platters, at their old South Center location. I didn’t really know Steve. In fact the time that I ever spoke with him was when he happened to be the cashier that rang up my purchases at the front counter.
Even though we exchanged few words, he did communicate with me and significantly influenced my musical tastes and my purchases. You see Silver Platters used to have a display located at the front of the store that featured music that the staff members were listening to. Over time, I came to realize that of all the staff members, Steve had musical tastes that paralleled mine the closest. If Steve recommended a cd (this was the early 00s), I would buy it. I was never disappointed. I miss Steve and his musical recommendations.
Walking past Sears today and their front of store display caught my eye. The store in our local mall typically features a Lands End display, so this was not out of the ordinary. What took me by surprise was the marketing of Lands’ End clothing to “spring breakers.”
One I think of spring breakers, I do not think of college students drinking and partying in clothing from Lands’ End. The map features the apparent route one would take from Dodgeville, WI, the headquarters of Lands’ End and Daytona Beach, one of the college hotspots. Maybe if the marketing spoke of spring vacation with the kids and the map destination was Disney, it may be more on target.
Door handles of the DQ Grill & Chill in Bend, OR
Almost as iconic as the trademarked curl on the top of their cones is Dairy Queen’s red spoon.
It is a stroke of branding genius that DQ restaurants are beginning to adorn their stores with oversized red spoon as door pulls. This photo was taken last weekend in Bend OR. I always appreciate themed door pulls at specialty stores. The pulls are a great way to create a positive customer impression!
You do not have to take my word for it. The red spoon door pulls were featured in LockNet, the website about doors and locks for businesses. See link below.
This is a sign that retailers in Portland, Oregon are posting on their doors. It is their attempt to give stability in these less than stable times. It is not about politics but about customers. Well done.
Powell’s @ PDX
“The Heart is a Lonely Hunter”- the sought after book
I had the opportunity to drive out to the Portland International Airport (PDX) on the December 31st to pick up my wife returning from Vancouver, BC. Many people dread a trip to an airport particularly if they are not taking off to some exotic place and I would generally consider myself one of those. I have done enough travel in my time to generally dislike most airports.
But not PDX. Those of you that have had a chance to use PDX know that it is a pleasant airport with decent parking, a manageable size, quick & friendly TSA security and operated efficiently; all of which adds up to make PDX a great airport. But you do not have to take my word for it. Travel & Leisure magazine has named Portland’s airport “The Best Domestic Airport” for four years running and Conde Nast ranked PDX the second best airport for 2016 recognizing it for its local shops.
While in the car, I was listening to Oregon Public Broadcasting that was featuring authors talking about the first adult book the read when they were young that influenced them as a writers today. One of the interviewed named The Heart is a Lonely Hunter as being most influential to her. After describing the book, I decided that I would have to get ahold of the book and read it. Which brings me to the focus of this post.
When one of your favorite stores opens a new location in your area it can be exciting. That happened recently in Portland. And while it seems strange to write this, we got our own Amazon store.
If you happen to be in the Marais in Paris, you should check out Uniqlo’s store at 39 Rue des Francs Bourgeois.
The building, the former Usine de la Société des Cendres, (translated Factory of the Society of Ashes) was a foundry that reclaimed the scrap from jewelers and metalsmith and was redeveloped into a three-story, 8800 sq. ft. showroom. The store is a new concept for Uniqlo. Along with a selection of its menswear and womenswear collections, the brand also displays books, furniture and accessories; all in an effort to make the store a fashion-forward destination.
This is the 5th location for the company in Paris along with their Comptoir Des Cotoniers locations.
I guess it is that time. My next question is when did HGTV become the official sponsor of Christmas?
On November 3rd, 2015, Amazon opens their first brick & mortar store selling books in the University Village Mall in Seattle.