Monday, January 9, 2017

The Demise of Retail

I ventured yesterday to the J Crew Clearance Store (the one located in Forest, VA) - not to be confused with J Crew Factory Stores. There are two Clearance Stores in the US (the other is in NC). I have shopped here for years, making two or three annual treks to stock up on incredible bargains.  These stores are located near J Crew Distribution Centers so the merchandise is marked down considerably.  It's not damaged stuff, usually.  The store is closing on Tuesday and the place was a wreck.  I managed to scoop up some bargains, everything was 75 percent off the marked price. A white blouse ($68 retail) was $5 for example. Sometimes they will host Warehouse Sales at the location.  And the press release indicated that there may be some pop up sales in the future.

There was one lady there, clearly an "Ebay Seller" who had huge amounts she was buying (like 25 pairs of black pants) clearly to resell.  Someone mentioned these people who were going to the store every day buying all the new merchandise, to sell at a higher price on the many Internet sites for resellers like Poshmark.  Where will they go now?

It's so sad that our stores are closing.  The Lynchburg Macy's is also closing.  Then the 200 Limited Stores are shutting down and Sears is not far from being a relic.  The pundits will say that if these stores were good they would survive, but I see what's happening in a different light.

When I was a child my mother would take me downtown to shop. It was an experience. We'd wear nicer clothes (no jeans, tank tops, leggings or athleasure) and we'd make a day of it.  The stores were beautiful.  The store clerks were well dressed.  One store had a full-time elevator operator.The stores were welcoming, not full of huge amounts of merchandise piled in huge quantities, always "on sale."

Now we shop online.  We meet no one other than the Customer Service Rep from India we must call to demand a refund from when the store fails to credit you for a return (read Nordstrom - where I won't shop anymore).  And where is the quality?  Must we buy Italian couture to find a pair of decent lined wool pants?  I for one don't want the immediate gratification of going to H & M to source the style we saw Blake Lively wearing on the red carpet two weeks ago.  

The world is changing and sometimes not for the better.  I for one, don't want to create my wardrobe from online photos on Net-a-Porter.  I'm not interested in looking like the red carpet star of the moment or anyone else for that matter. Where is individualism going?  Or is it gone already?

1 comment:

  1. I was a part time employee of The Limited and it was a sad moment closing the doors that final time. I was a shopper for years (more than I like to remember) I like to touch, feel and try on, the online shopping experience just doesn't satisfy those needs.


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