Thursday, December 04, 2003

Taking Their Business Elsewhere

I stole away on my lunch hour today to do a little Christmas shopping, and was surprised to see that the stores I stopped at were something close to crowded. Usually, this far before the holiday, I'd been able to shop at midday without fear of lines, but these establishments appeared to be doing a healthy business. Good for them? Not good enough, apparently, because the two outfits I made purchases from -- Kids 'R Us and Zany Brainy -- are closing their locations near me. What does it mean when the stores I frequent are the stores that are going under? That I'm hopelessly out of step with the general direction of retail? Or that I haven't personally done enough shopping to keep them afloat? See, this is where being fiscally responsible gets me.

I'll be sorry to see Kids 'R Us go because it's one of the few places that had pants to fit my too-tall-for-one-size, too-skinny-for-the-next son. Zany Brainy always seemed a little pricier than it needed to be, but they did have the Playmobil grocery store my son wanted and all the little side items that go with it, while Toys 'R Us's Playmobil supply was skimpy. Perhaps Toys 'R Us will eventually absorb every single brand in the universe and spread out into ever larger-sized stores until no one will ever need to shop anywhere else. But if they're not going to sell pants anymore, who needs 'em?

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