Change

I have always embraced change. It brings good things even if you are not ready (I am specifically thinking of upgrades my computer!). You have to keep moving forward. Refusing to change helps no one, especially yourself. (This reminds me of a friend who won’t use a drive-through because it’s terrifying.)

We have all watched as the brick and mortar stores closed. For some it was good riddance. Others will be missed. I am a fan of on-line purchases but I’m also a fan of touching and feeling before I buy. Don’t like on-line returns (cha-ching, cha-ching).

Recently a near-by department store closed. I love department stores. Lots of different products. You could buy shoes, kitchen stuff, furniture and underwear all in one stop. They carried upscale designer products along with everyday items. I like quality in my clothes. I don’t mind paying for it as long as it looks good and wears well.

I wasn’t prepared for the sense of loss I felt. It was sold to a liquidator. Even though the bags have the name, it’s not the real store anymore.

I recently stopped by to see if there were any bargains. Bad move. I had a profound sense of sadness. I know this sounds silly. No one was dying but it happened anyway.

I didn’t see any of the old employees. Perhaps they were severed when the liquidation company came in. I was sorry I didn’t go in earlier to wish them well.

There weren’t bargains, only big ugly signs. The kind that make everything look cheap. It reminded me of the people rummaging Scrooge’s house after he died. The signs said 20% to 70% off but it was off the MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price) which is rarely used these days. I didn’t see much beyond 30% off either.

A lifestyle is dying. For me it was this store but for someone else it may be different. When was the last time you saw an independent book store? For the beloved husband it’s the music stores. Kids aren’t playing instruments like they used to. Much easier to be on-line playing games.

Malls are all struggling. I am not looking forward to the day when you can’t go to a store to fondle merchandise. I don’t always need to buy but I like to look. It’s therapy for me. Keep my eye on what’s in and what’s out. Staying on top of pop culture as best I can.

Not everyone enjoys shopping. I enjoy the solitary. I like my own companionship. I try to make it fun and treat myself to a nice lunch or snack. Sometimes two.

This mall is where I walk and my Starbucks is located. Our local pizza place is there too. I am hoping for a solution.

Medical health networks are our biggest employers these days and many of the large empty retail areas are converted into medical space. Perhaps one day I can get blood tests and a mocha all at the same time.

Change, sometimes good and sometimes scary, it keeps on going whether we like it or not. Any profound changes in your life?

 

63 thoughts on “Change

  1. The life you have ruminated about exists around the Seattle area. Amazon has built physical stores and Starbucks is inside some medical centers. A few indie bookstores and record shops manage to hold on too. Perhaps your town is changing not so much because of the internet, but rather because people continue to move into larger and larger urban areas where these things exist.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Reset | rfljenksy – Practicing Simplicity

  3. I’m with you Kate – I’m not a fan of these new ‘lifestyle’ malls. The weather here isn’t great most of the year for running from store to store. I actually like to shop. I like to browse … which is great at an indoor mall in the dead of winter.
    I shall mourn when traditional retail finally bites the bullet.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Around here malls are dying but “lifestyle centers” are doing better. The former are enclosed, while the latter are stores located on made-up little outside streets put together like an old-fashioned small town. I’m not much for shopping, but I do like wandering around a lifestyle center more than being trapped in a mall. Everything changes but remains the same, eh?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think I’m pretty good with change, but technology changes too darn fast. I get impatient with reading directions and figuring it all out. We haven’t had any department stores closing lately, but I’m worried about Sears. Like you, I enjoy going to the mall and just shopping around, especially if I don’t have much to shop for and I can just browse. We’re lucky to have a great independent bookstore in town.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is an independent bookstore a half hour from me owned and run by a church. That’s it. All the rest went belly up. We only have one Barnes and Noble. I worry about Sears too. They had a “hardware” type store near us that we went to all the time but they closed it. Maybe about the same time Home Depot moved in. Technology is a bear. It’s not intuitive to me and I don’t like to take the time to learn different ways of doing things that were working just fine the old way.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I feel very similarly, Kate. I can’t say that I’ve always embraced change. I probably resist it more than I would like to admit. But when it comes to on-line shopping I jumped in almost from the beginning, and now that I’m seeing favorite stores close I do feel very sorry about that loss. So many things that have been a part of my life so far are in major shift and change, and I’m beginning to really recognize, and try to embrace, the notion that the world as we have known it is being shaped for the younger generations who are coming up behind us. The young ones don’t have that same loyalty that we have had because they’ve never known the institutions. If we lose clothing shops I’ll have to go back to sewing. I can’t imagine buying my clothes on line! LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Changes that you never imagine would happen, are happening. Who thought malls would go the way of the dinosaur? Was walking this morning and I realized that Sprint and T-Mobile are going to combine so one of the two storefronts will be empty. I hear Claire’s is going out of business and the mani-pedi spa in the mall. So many empty places. So sad.

      Like

  7. The advantage/disadvantage of living in a small, island town — we still have two independent bookstores. Heck, we even have a Video Store (yup, the kind with DVD…and CDs when we’re getting fancy!) I agree that change can be good. I also agree that it’s sad when we lose our familiar routines. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are so many advantages to living in a small island town! We have Redbox but no video stores! Adjusting routines forcing us out of our comfort zone is never a happy time. I often used this store for a therapy walk.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. We are seeing these ghost malls more and more across the country. I admit to buying some things online, but I try to shop local (especially independent) as much as I can. While our large downtown mall is struggling, another one, located more in the burbs, is expanding like crazy. Their theory is to make it more of an entertainment destination. Funny too, there is a brick and mortar Amazon store located there.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. We have a department store that deserves to die. It’s lovely when you walk in and see the array of lovely things on display. Then you notice small signs everywhere telling you how much of a discount you get on racks of clothes or shelves of toiletries. They send coupons in the mail, some of which are scratch-off, to tell you what percentage you can take off. The ONLY way you know the true price is to get a sales person to ring it up for you.

    We were shopping for a grandson, having gone to several other stores without luck. There was a sweater in his favorite color, but the ticket price was about $60. I kept looking for something less expensive. Finally John just took the sweater to find out the real price. It was about $25. Who knows what it would have been if we’d had coupons with us. Perhaps the store expected me to be thrilled at finding a bargain, but I was very annoyed. I want to know what the price is before I pick up something to look at it. I may throw a party in the parking lot when they go out of business.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. As soon as I see it’s a liquidator sale for a store that’s closing, I know now it’s never worth it. As you point out, all they do is try to make you feel you’ll get great deals because of their huge signs. But I’ve never found that to be true. I remember when Woodward and Lothrop closed in Washington, DC. I didn’t grow up there, but I had lived there long enough to have appreciated it as a nice, local department store. All we’ll have left now are the national chains (Macy’s, Nordstrom, etc.). And Sears is now breathing its last gasps – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Many profound changes in my life. I, however, do not do well with change at all. In some ways it reminds me that I am no longer the younger generation and that life is transient and temporary. I do love the idea of blood tests and a mocha at the same time!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Everywhere we go another store has closed or is in the throes of closing down. On top of that, I like to see, touch and if necessary measure the merchandise. Clothes shops annoy me as they never have my size, but surprisingly they are always available ‘on line’. Ho hum. No different to mail order and Littlewoods I suppose which is how I always used to do my clothes shopping anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. No musical instruments? That is sad. I guess a lot of parents are into a coding elective instead of band — no expensive instruments to rent, for sure. But I still hear kids playing their instruments at the middle school across the street, so maybe it’s not totally dead?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not totally dead but very diminished. We used to have several very good stores locally where you could buy new or used instruments and all sort of sheet music and stuff. The independents closed and now Guitar Center is going belly up. Buying a guitar on-line is hard unless you know exactly what you want.

      Like

  14. I’m not so good with change…mostly cos I’m just not sure that all change is ‘moving forward’…so…I’m envisaging a future where…there are no cars. So shops have to open and be on your doorstep so you can walk or cycle to them. It may be a while…but we may just go full circle. A bit like vinyl (records) and real (as opposed to processed) food coming back into vogue. You heard it here first….

    Liked by 1 person

  15. All of the indoor malls around here are hurting for business as are the stores located around them. They are being edged out by the trendier outdoor malls that have upscale shopping, dining and even a hotel and a grocery store. The one nearest to me has things like outdoor concerts, young families gather to toss a ball or run around as well as yoga classes on the green space which is converted to an ice skating rink in the winter. There are pricey loft apartments throughout the complex as well as upscale homes and businesses that ripple outward from the main complex. Like someone else said, it is like a small city. Whenever I go there I feel like I am on vacation somewhere. I do miss the old days of wandering around the mall and enjoying all it had to offer. I never could have imagined the day they would become obsolete.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We have one of those locally minus the apartments. LL Bean and Plow and Hearth are there so it’s a favorite of mine. There is a kid’s water spray area in the summer and I’m pretty sure they do concerts too. It’s lovely but it doesn’t have any department stores. I have to walk outside to get from one store to another in the rain, snow or freaking hot weather.

      Like

  16. I embrace change, too, but there will always be a sense of loss when we have to say goodbye to the old and in with the new. Sears has always been a Chicago staple. We have a radio station with call letters that refers to Sears. We had a building named/owned after Sears. Well, we all know how Sears is doing. The Sears Tower is no more. It’s now called Willis Tower. Native Chicagoans refuse to call it anything but its original name. I also have a friend who refuses to go to Macy’s because they bought out Marshall Field’s.

    I couldn’t wait to get my butt out of Florida and back home to the Midwest. I was shocked when the tears came saying goodbye. I had no close friends there, but I have 27 years of life memories there. I experienced so many things, both good and bad, and I had to grieve the place that gave me those memories.

    So, that’s a round about way of saying that I understand your feelings of loss over the store, and that I think it’s human nature.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I like the “outdoor” stores. The old main street idea. My only issue with that, is parking! It is certainly easier to park in one of those mall lots, than to parallel park on the street. And what “genius” thought up the idea of parking meters???

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I still haven’t recovered from Woolworth closing…it makes me sad. I miss the large stand alone stores more than the malls. It reminds me of visiting my grandmother in Charleston West Virginia. We’d get dressed up and go shopping downtown.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I can totally understand about your feelings with the mall. Our mall has become a ghost town and it is sad. Sad when you think of how it used to be. I remember taking my kids there, we could shop some and then they would get to play on the fun toys in the middle of the mall. The Clifford ride and Bob the Builder ride. We could shop a little more and then get those wonderful Aunt Anne pretzels. 🙂
    Or sometimes we did just go to the mall for Auntie Anne pretzels.
    We go there to eat dinner as a family and watch a movie and then go different ways to shop.
    As you said, one place for all kinds of different things.
    Our last department store from there is closing now with those big ugly signs all around.

    Gee, now I need to go get myself a Latte or something to brighten myself up. 🙂

    No, I’ll be ok, but you are right there is sadness with it. I agree with the online shopping. It can be very convenient until you need to return something!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awww Auntie Anne’s! Our farmers market used to have one but it moved out a couple years back. The location is good so I hope something good happens there. It would be ideal to update and get some good stores. The area needs a good drugstore!

      Like

  20. Maybe it’s my age, but I too struggle with the fact that retail as we’ve always known it, is fast disappearing. Ordering online is NOT the same; it does not matter how many online photos you look at and how many reviews you read. Nothing replaces viewing and touching the item in “real time” and yes, returning items is a real pain! I recently ordered a product from Amazon. It was a non-slip product to coat the bathtub to prevent slips and falls (which as I age is something I worry about). When the item arrived it says clearly on the package that it can not be used on acrylic (which is what I have) and I had to return it. Of course I have to pay the postage (NOT cheap) back to Texas (I live in Canada, ordered from Amazon.ca which one would think would have Canadian sources for shipping…..but no…..) and now am waiting for a credit once they receive it back. All of this could have been avoided if I could just have walked into a store like a Home Depot and bought the product but guess what? It’s only available online and this is not the first product I have needed that this has been the case. This type of thing frustrates me no end and it is only going to get worse.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is exactly why I don’t do everything on line. I have been disappointed with quality more than once. Sometimes you don’t know it’s the wrong one until you unbox it. Love my Home Depot.

      Like

  21. “They” just built a huge mall in Sarasota . . . and it’s surrounded by an ever-expanding complex of more stores, more bars, more restaurants, etc. It’s a small city. And it is busy with shoppers.

    But other older malls in the area are dying. They are like ghost towns.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I guess it’s easier to build new than to remodel. They did remodel another mall locally and added an outside “lifestyle” group of upscale stores. I like to shop there but hate running outside to go from store to store. Our weather isn’t always great. The old ones are like ghost towns.

      Like

  22. It is weird how malls, that used to be so bustling are all but dead now. I never go to a mall anymore, so I’m part of what is killing them. I prefer getting my stuff online and when I go shopping prefer the easy in and out of strip plaza’s. I don’t want to walk for a mile past places I don’t care to shop in.

    I would never have predicted that about malls when I was a kid. To me they were a permanent fixture of life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is so much I don’t like to buy on line like shoes and a lot of clothes. I’m too fussy or hard to fit or something. I’m not a fan of driving from store to store looking for what I want either. I enjoyed the convenience of an indoor mall without having to worry about weather too. I’ll adapt. We all do.

      Liked by 1 person

Don't be shy, I'd love to hear what you're thinking!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s