Skip to comments.Attention Wal-Mart Shoppers!-(Fed.Dept.Stores buys MayCo = McDonaldization of retailing)
Posted on 03/05/2005 6:08:51 PM PST by CHARLITE
The bottom line is, there will be less choice for the consumer with the same merchandise being offered at all stores. It's the MacDonaldization of retailing. Where consistency trumps quality and selection, and low prices trumps service and a knowledgeable staff. There will be less variety in clothing since there will be fewer buyers making the choices.
As a kid, I can recall when going downtown to shop used to be a special outing, almost an entertainment event. People actually used to get all dressed up to go "to the stores," believe it or not. Well-dressed ladies would lunch in the Bullocks Wilshire "tea room" watching models showing the latest fashions. Mothers brought their daughters and everyone looked beautiful dressed in their finest outfits.
Department stores had individual personalities. If you think of the stores in terms of classic actresses it will help demonstrate what I mean. The Broadway and the May Co. were June Allyson and Debbie Reynolds the clean, neat, girls next door. Bullocks was Bette Davis, simple yet stylish. Robinsons was Grace Kelly, classy and understated. Bullocks Wilshire was Myrna Loy, elegant and expensive; and I. Magnin was Ethel Barrymore, the granddame.
You had a choice and, to paraphrase Martha Stewart, choice is a good thing. Today the choice is which store has the lowest price on jeans.
It's impossible to apply the classic actress yardstick to today's mega-mart stores, but if we use television personalities we might have something like the following: Nordstrom is Oprah Winfrey, Bloomingdales is Kelly Ripa, Wal-Mart is Roseanne Barr, K-Mart is Roseanne Barr, Sears is Roseanne Barr, Macys is Roseanne Barr, Target is Roseanne Barr, Mervyns is Roseanne Barr, and Marshall's is Roseanne Barr
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Blah blah blah. Successful businesses cater to the whims of the consumer, not the other way around. Those who want quality and selection will find ways to get quality and selection and bright and innovative entrepeneurs will find ways to sell it to them. The end.
"The bottom line is, there will be less choice for the consumer with the same merchandise being offered at all stores."
Uh, no. Try to find Bose at Wal-Mart. Try to find Fruit of the Loom at Nordstroms.
Oh great. MayCo been Chinatized.
Cultural elistist bunk.
How old IS this guy? I'm almost 50 and I NEVER remember dressing up to go shopping. I remember the fancy department stores all right, all of them above my parents' budget. Funny, but last time I was at Sears and Macys I don't remember anyone with any resemblence to Roseanne Barr.
Just curious, how many guys enjoy shopping for clothes with their mothers??
I remember shopping at Bullocks and Broadway as a little kid! It did used to be more of an "event." Macy's, Robinson's, Lord and Taylor, and Bloomie's have been fighting for the same stale territory for a while now -- in a way, it makes sense for them to merge. I just hope Nordstrom stays independent -- I'm not quite sure I could survive without Nordie's (this author's totally snide characterization of it as "Oprah-style" notwithstanding).
I remember going down town in Detroit and Cleveland with my mother. We were always dressed neatly. We ate our lunches in the stores: Higbees, The May Co. JL Hudson, etc. But then every one dressed up a little to go any place; church, a family dinner out, etc. People are just more casual today. I miss the down town stores.
It depends on how old the "guys" are. My grandson loves nothing better than to shop with his mother, my daughter. He just turned 13. Three more years and he might not think it's so cool.
Furthermore, I think that this author is waxing nostalgic as much as he is seriously analyzing the impact of the Federated Dept. Stores' buy-out of May Co. He regrets the "changing of the guard" in retailing. The "thrill is gone" and it no longer seems like "old times."
There used to be a great store on Fifth Ave, called "PECK AND PECK." It was my favorite store to go to with my mother, when my father would treat us to a trip to NYC from Baltimore. PECK & PECK isn't there any longer. I haven't a clue when it closed, or moved.........or whatever happened to it, but I miss it and it's a great memory, just as Greg Crosby misses the fondly remembered shopping trips with his mother.
I've seen women resembling Roseanne at Sears.
Well, my 15yo son enjoys shopping with me too, but probably because my tastes run more to computer/electronic stores than department and clothes shopping, LOL.
Oh, we ladies dressed up with hats and gloves! It was a big deal.
Not in Honolulu/Pearl City ;-). Maybe a few tough-looking Japanese grandma types...
I happen to like shopping at Macy's. Designer brands at fair prices relative to Nordstrom or L&T.
I haven't been in the new Macy's yet, and don't know if I want to after seeing it described above as a Roseanne Barr store, LOL.
I do my clothes and gift shopping at Dillard's, a quality, "with-it" store. I hope it never goes down the tubes like the previous tenant of the empty mall store it moved into, Montgomery Ward.
Very funny! "The McDonaldization of retailing."
I'm sure you, like me, have noticed that there are no restaurants left except McDonalds and its imitators. LOL
We went to Paramis, NJ to do our school shopping and we always dressed up. In Atlanta we dressed up to go to Neiman Marcus and we had tea in the tearoom.
Of course, I can remember when people dressed up to fly to Europe, and when Sabena had pullman bunks in First Class... and when babies and the hoi polloi (of which I now am one) never flew because they couldn't afford it.
Society is much more homogenized than it was back then, although back then people were terrified of growing up to be put in little boxes and all coming out the same.
We have Dillards here in Ohio too. I love their selection and sales. When I was transferred to Pittsburgh I used to drive over into Ohio to shop at Dillards. I did quite a bit of shopping at Dillards web site too. In Pennsylvania we had Boscov's. A lot like Macy's and with really good sales. But for quality and sales, nothing beat Filene's basement.
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