How’s Your Shopping?

What’s your shopping like? Do you prefer quaint boutiques? Do you mind paying a bit more for the experience? Does your heart beat faster inside a mall stuffed with the familiar stores featured in every city? Do you only bargain hunt—the store itself makes no matter in your search? Are you comforted by the predictability of the big box?

It seems shopping, or shoppers, in America are changing. Hard to say which. In the Phoenix area, in 2014, we saw Juicy Couture, KFC and bunch of Sbarros hit the road to oblivion. And those were in malls. Wet Seal will close most of its mall offerings this year, thanks in most part to a 28.8 million dollar default.

duchess diaries, the mall

Plans to meet a friend at Barnes and Noble Kierland are squelched this past Saturday when our arrival features shuttered doors. Granted, we chose another small establishment, Starbucks, for our meeting, but still—a Barnes and Noble closing? To many, it may seem just desserts that the store responsible for the demise of the shop around the corner bookstore is finding its behemoth doors closing. Seems, B & N saw a six-month net loss of 74 million in 2014. This year, 15-20 additional stores will close.

Is it online and electronic books or is it something more? If it were just Barnes and Noble, perhaps we could chalk it up to changes in reading habits, or the horror that people have become so slovenly they simply don’t read at all. Not good news for those of us who put pen to paper. Pfft.

Others are suffering as well. And they don’t really fall into rhyme or reason. The swath seems large, sickle-like and unrelenting. Macy’s will close Phoenix Metro Center and another 14 stores, eliminating 1300 jobs. Office Depot/Office Max will empty 400 stores nationwide. Radio Shack will close 200 stores and Abercrombie and Fitch expects 180 to finally turn down the music and have teenagers put their clothes back on.

Also adding stores to the chopping block—Burberry, Home Depot and JC Penney.

So the question is: If our economy is thriving, which in most circles, including the president’s, the answer is yes, what is going on? Have Americans finally become oversaturated with stuff? Are we moving toward a nirvana in which things are no longer our raison d’etre? Or, have we changed the way in which we secure goods? Do we prefer to shop small, local and homegrown? Has etsy stolen our hearts?

Have we moved to experiences instead of things? Can we be that good all of a sudden? Is this, perhaps, the lesson of the largest financial meltdown since the Great Depression? Or is it much ado about nothing?

This girl shops less. But I assume it is because I no longer have a husband footing the bill. I know I’m not a better person. I always had little patience for the mall and its trappings; too many things and people make me nervous and a bit sweaty. I’m also the girl that wants to get what I want and get the hell out. At the mall, I’m basically a guy. Besides, if I’m going to walk, it’s to the pool, cocktail in hand.

Are we simply staying home more? Are we ordering online? Are we smarter shoppers? Let’s get this conversation going. Tell us, Duchess Dolls, how you shop, how often, where you prefer. Shopkeepers—weigh in here. Are you noticing trends?

I feel a Salon coming on. I’m getting faint. First, we’ll sip vodka making the decision once and for all if the Costco brand is really Gery Goose in sheep’s clothing and then discuss the best places to shop. Or not.

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