What a few months it’s been. Aside from politics, the business news has come at us with unnerving velocity. Everyone reading this post keeps tuned into companies and people on the move. But we’ll mention just two big losses to reminisce about. This post is nearly always written with the “we” in authorship. Today, I’ll pull back the Wizard of Oz curtain and make the comments mine since I’d like to share a couple of memories.
Toys “R” Us and I share a birthdate. So, I’ve never not shopped for Christmas and birthday gifts there. The first year the chain announced they’d be open until midnight Christmas eve, I knew they understood me. Yes, I can buy toys online. But what will be missing is the visual opportunity the stores presented. I often had no idea what I wanted to buy until I walked the aisles often asking a 17-yr old sales person for their opinion. “Do eight-year-old boys really go for these mini jeeps? Or should I get the race car?”
Launching in 1892, Sears & Roebuck’s start preceded my birth by over a half a century but has a special place in my heart. You see, back before we all had dozens of credit cards, consumers paid with a check or, more likely with cash. Fresh out of high school I took a studio apartment for the summer way across town. Fearless and independent, I was. I took a job with Home Savings & Loan (also no longer around) and realized my wardrobe was unpolished.
I shopped the Sears in Santa Monica and narrowed my choice down to a navy-blue cotton cable knit dress. Mock turtleneck, modest cap sleeves, knee length. I could not afford it. It was $12. The sales lady nodded with maternal understanding and allowed me to put the dress on lay-a-way. I made three payments of $4 finally taking it to my little apartment. I wore that dress for many years. My first ‘adult’ purchase with the help of a kind saleslady.
So, it’s not just the disappearance of the businesses that leave a void, but the elimination of the interaction with other humans who help and understand us. On the plus side, Alexa will always tell me I look great in my dress.