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[personal profile] mimulus_borogove
Forgive the lame link, but this is where I found the story about major chain stores expected to close down many--possibly all--stores.

This is interesting to me because I was just in #1-Least-Likely-to-Succeed, aka Sears, the other day. Having suffered through a few seasons of really cruddy kids' clothes that couldn't stand up to washing, I decided to see if Lands' End could do better for at least a few key items. I buy a lot of Sweety's clothes there because they're classic-looking and they last forever. And the kids' clothes were very nice, but some of them were mismarked. Not wanting to wait another five years for one of the girls to wear a certain cardigan, I readied for returns.

But returning with the included label costs you $6.50. If I understood the woman on the phone correctly, it costs that even if the return is due to their mistake. Returning them at Sears, though, is free. So off to Sears we went.

The return went very smoothly. The items were still tagged; their bags had been opened, but that was it. Everything was pretty close to pristine. And do you know what sticker they put on them? "CLEARANCE--USED." If they're having to do that every time Lands' End screws up an order, then no wonder they're not doing well.

Date: 2008-08-06 04:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cynodd.livejournal.com
Huh? Lands' End and Sears are related? I think the reason Sears is going down is they affiliated with people who don't know how to use apostrophes, and flaunt it unapologetically.

Sears going down makes me sad. I feel capitalist nostalgia for them. :(

As for the others on the list... My $0.02

Circuit City - I almost never shop there. And the one time I did in the last five years, they were a mess.
Pier 1 - I've commented to people in the last few years that Pier 1 just isn't what it used to be. It no longer seems to really have funky imports. Instead, it's trying to look like Crate & Barrel inside. That isn't what I went to Pier 1 for, so I stopped going there...
Cost Plus - and started going to Cost Plus World Market. :( I don't want them to go out of business.
Tuesday Morning Corp. - Never heard of them.
Gap - Never shop there. Haven't since the 80's, which I shopped there about twice.
Blockbuster - I don't use Netflix, but I don't use Blockbuster, either. We basically decided to just start buying movies, so we wouldn't have to return them. We do so pretty infrequently since Cupcake arrived anyway.
Rite Aid - I go to the pharmacy at the Meijers, so I pretty much only go to places like Rite Aid for cards and toiletries, when I don't want to handle a Meijers.

P.S.

Date: 2008-08-06 04:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cynodd.livejournal.com
Time Magazine had a really scathing article on Bennigan's demise this week in their "The Moment" column: "Americans who want to peruse oversize menus for oversize portions of unremarkable food in unremarkable settings may soon have to check out Applebee's or Chili's. Or Ruby Tuesday or T.G.I. Friday's. Or the scores of other family-style restaurants serving deep-fried mozzarella sticks beneath hypnotically rotating ceiling fans."

Funny enough to forgive the sentence fragment. (You see, I'm gearing up for the Freshman comp.) :)

Article here.

Date: 2008-08-07 06:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jaderabbit.livejournal.com
I love Cost Plus, too. I'm sad to think of it doing poorly. I've never been a big Pier 1 fan; the last few times I was there, it was pretty much Wicker Hell.

I don't really know what the relationship between Lands' End and Sears is. Maybe someone else will provide the answer in the comments.

Date: 2008-08-06 01:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] just-the-ash.livejournal.com
Boscov's, an East Coast department store chain (where my dad's mother shopped for literally decades, and got everything from eyeglasses to a fridge), just announced Chapter 11 bankruptcy. If the chain goes under, this will hurt jobs in rural Pennsylvania and up into New York State a bit -- not exactly the area that can stand job losses. Reading, PA, for example, already has a raging heroin and meth problem.

Cutting their nose to spite their face.

Date: 2008-08-06 03:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] drj0402.livejournal.com
It reminds me of the Marshall Fields in Oak Park, IL where everyone went to return stuff they bought in Oak Brook, IL.

And that was the late eighties.

I always thought Pier One was too expensive and never had the things that appealed to me. There's a Tuesday Morning in the Hollywood District of Portland, OR where we bought some wash clothes for cheap, but it's not a place I go to seek out stuff. I would miss Cost Plus World Market if it went away.

Re: Cutting their nose to spite their face.

Date: 2008-08-07 06:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jaderabbit.livejournal.com
Yeah, Tuesday Morning is kind of a stroll-through impulse buy place. I've bought a few things there that I really like--and they're great for gift wrap and bags--but mostly I think it's where folks go to buy presents for teachers and the like.

Date: 2008-08-06 05:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] randomlinenoise.livejournal.com
I'll admit, I don't go to most of these places.

Cost plus is one of those stores I like to wander through, since they usually have interesting stuff. It's generally not stuff I need, though.

Date: 2008-08-06 06:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] clair-de-lalune.livejournal.com
I never really go to any of those stores, though the only ones I actively boycott are Circuit City and Blockbuster.

Recently, Sears was the only place I could get my watch battery changed. The store where I bought the watch wouldn't touch it because it was too expensive and they didn't want to be liable for damage - they wanted to send it to the manufacturer to have the battery changed, but wouldn't do it without my receipt. As if I would keep the receipt for 4 years and know where it was! *eye roll*

Date: 2008-08-07 06:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jaderabbit.livejournal.com
Why do you boycott Blockbuster? I stopped using them after realizing I was seeing an edited movie that wasn't marked as edited. It made me mad that they did that and didn't even tell us.

Date: 2008-08-07 09:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] clair-de-lalune.livejournal.com
I got really irritated with Blockbuster a few years ago after they instituted their "no late fee" policy. I got really busy at work and didn't have time to watch or return a video I'd rented in a timely manner. They sent me a notice saying that, although there was no late fee, I needed to return the video by a certain date or they'd charge me for the cost of the video plus some kind of restocking fee. So, I watched the video and returned it just before midnight on the date specified.

About 2 months later, I received a bill for the cost of the video and restocking fee anyway. So, I called and they checked and said they had the video, which was rented out to someone else now, but they had to charge me for these things because the video was returned a day late. I know I returned it just before midnight on the date specified and so I argued with the guy about it and, really, was quite angry. He insisted that it wasn't possible for the video to have been checked in after midnight when it was dropped off before midnight. Well, I used to work at a Blockbuster in college and knew that wasn't true - sometimes the videos got checked in after midnight and the manager had to manually take off late fees, if necessary. He countered that they now have some kind of video surveillance in the drop-off box that makes it impossible for that kind of thing to happen. Whatever - it seems like their "no late fee" policy would make them less vigilant about it, not more! So, after arguing for a good 30 minutes, the guy got off the phone with me and said he'd talk to his manager about it. The next day they called and left a voice-mail saying, "good news" and that I wouldn't be charged. But, it was too late. I was already done with Blockbuster.

Date: 2008-08-07 11:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jaderabbit.livejournal.com
Wow. I'd love to see their nonexistent surveillance camera footage of you deliberately dropping it off a day late. That's really obnoxious of them.

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