It is a sign of the times, but it is happening:
Thompson talks about the economic trends that spelled doom for JCP. I don’t know about economics, but I do know that it’s strange, in an emotional sense, for me to see so many of the iconic retailers from my childhood fall by the wayside. I couldn’t tell you the last time I shopped at Penney’s. Probably when my mom took me there as a kid. Sears was the big retail presence in our family’s life in the 1970s. I went to a Sears store for the first time in decades last fall, looking for a kid’s coat, and I was shocked by how depressing and low-rent everything looked. This is not a store that has life in it, I thought.
Montgomery Ward used to be a big part of my childhood too. It died a while back.
A couple of things:
- Low rent. Low Rent?!?! Seriously? Is this the image that Rod Dreher wants to convey? As an snobby asshole, who thinks he is better than anyone else? I do not know the guy — but as someone who grew up in Southwest Detroit in the 1980′s, that little remark really tripped my “this guy is a racist, elitist asshole” alarm. Also too, I still have family, in the form of Cousins who still live down there, including the daughter of my Father’s kid sister, who works TWO jobs to survive down there. She also is a registered gun owner. Something that I just found out here recently. Needless to say, I was most impressed with that!
- JCPenney, Montgomery Wards, Sears are all relics of the past. They are pre-internet businesses that did well, when brick and mortar businesses ruled the world. K-Mart is having the same problems. But, K-mart learned to adapt to the changing business world. Sears and the others, have not been so smart about it and because of it, some have failed and others are coming close to failing.
But still, Low Rent?!?! Egad. It just struck me as quite snobbish and bit racist. Why didn’t he just say that the place looked bad and had black people in it or something? It would have had the same effect. One thing I have never done is judged those who live in different situation as me; money-wise or whatever. Because I well know that I could very be in that place myself. I mean, I not might have the best circumstances, but things could be much, much worse for me. For that, I am very grateful. I have said that before and I try to keep it in mind.