Thursday, April 19, 2018


Place: Which Wich
Lunch: Meatball Grinder, ice water

We got a Which Wich right about halfway between the office and the Townhouse of Solitude and I am totally fine with this.  Really.  Don’t worry.  I’ll be okay.  Even if they did blow up the CO2 tank.

Fizz breaking bastards

Another retailer bites the dust.  Bon-Ton is liquidating.  They’re a traditional mall anchor department store chain in mostly mid-tier markets that has accumulated other classic department store brands over the years including Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger's, and Younkers.  Once great department store brands that long ago offered top-of-the-line products and personal service in multiple story downtown buildings with fancy tea rooms that made you feel special just by shopping there.  Tailor-fit clothes.  Fancy kitchen accessories.  The high-end electronics department.  The premium candy store in the basement.  Going was an event in itself.

All of that deteriorated with time, of course, as they expanded to suburban malls and eliminated frills until they were basically over glorified women’s clothing stores with some home goods as an afterthought.  Slightly fancier than Kohl’s.  Maybe.

My last purchase at a Bon-Ton brand was pillows about ten years ago.  Still using them.  Good pillows.

Much like the newspaper industry, executives have no real clue what happened and simply point the blame at the internet.  IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT, INTERNET.

It’s not, though.  It’s the store’s fault for pushing us all to the internet.


For example, the last time I went shopping for pants.  I go pants shopping around once every ten years.  I go to a store, I try a few different styles, I buy a pair, and then I go online and buy like ten more pair in different colors.

Why didn’t I just do that at the store?  Because the store only had one color in my size, and I had to spend ten minutes digging through their selection to find that one pair.

So how do we fix that?

What if stores had QR codes posted with the item price tags you could scan with the store’s app on your phone that popped up the item and let you quickly place an order through it to be shipped to you?

I think that would help.

“Oh, but the cost of putting the infrastructure into place!”  Sure, okay.  Just rest on your laurels.  That’s gotten you SO far already.

Apps can be very helpful to in-store shoppers.  If you’re in Kroger, for example, and you need to find an item, you can search it in the app and it will tell you what aisle it’s in.  I have used that, and I love it.

Competitive pricing would be helpful too.  Department store anchors tend to think they’re something special worth premium pricing when they’re really not anymore.

Eh.  What do I know.

It’s mid-April and it snowed yesterday.  Winter just won’t let go.  The weather jerks promise we’ve finally cleared that hurdle.

I’ll believe it when I see it.