With Wal*Mart changing the landscape of America’s retailing forever, I can’t help but long for the good ol’ days. Back when shoppers had a choice of where they shopped. Stores where you could walk from one side to the other without the need for a Service Area. Shopping experiences where you weren’t assaulted by surly greeters trying to supplement their social security or televisions hanging from the ceiling to compliment the noise of the snot nosed brat kicking his mother in the shin.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I go to a department store to pick up things I need, well, from a department store. I don’t go to get my hair styled, I don’t go to get fitted for contacts, I don’t go to do my banking and I don’t go to the department store to get my nails done.
I go to buy clothes or laundry detergent or cat litter or shaving cream.
I blame K-mart. When they went from the big red “K” and little blue “mart” to that stupid “Big K” big block K logo thing, the former S.S. Kresge Company opened the floodgates with their inevitable failure and gave Wally World room to expand. Those Big K’s weren’t any bigger than the old K-marts. Heck, they didn’t even carry appliances like the original K-marts did! And where was the popcorn by the jewelry counter or the K-mart cafeteria in the back? Gone!
If they had done what they’re Australian counterparts did with their K-marts by just updating the logo a little bit, staying true to their original course and keeping up with the times, I bet the retailing landscape would be a little bit different today.
And I bet I could still grab some popcorn near the jewelry counter. Sears Essentials my ass. Popcorn is essential!