This story on Snopes was in my feed reader this morning.
As usual, there’s a lot of misinformation in the E-mail to which Snopes is responding, but the Snopes site goes on to set the record straight from published news reports. Quite a number of stores have either already closed or will soon close hundreds of locations around the country, to wit:
- Pier 1 will be closing an unspecified number of stores.
- Ann Taylor plans to close 117 struggling stores by the end of 2011. (I once had a friend who worked at Ann Taylor. They were required to wear Ann Taylor apparel. So there went most of her paycheck.)
- Pacific Sunwear (Pac-Sun) will be closing its d.e.m.o. line of stores by the end of 2008.
- Wilsons Leather is closing all of its mall-based stores. Some of them will be revamped as a “Studio” concept featuring fashion accessories for women. Apparently, no more leather coats and jackets, though.
- Zales plans to close about 100 stores.
- Friedman’s plans to close an unspecified number of stores.
- Pep Boys will be closing an unspecified number of stores.
- Charming Shoppes plans to close at least 150 Catherine’s and Lane Bryant stores.
And then I think of all the stores that have already closed, some long ago, some not so long ago, including these that I really miss:
- Just for Feet
- Sons and Harwell (I really miss this one!)
- Jitney Jungle (including the legendary Jitney 14)
And it’s not a store, but long live the memory of Eastwood Mall. It was the first enclosed mall in the Deep South, and the second in the Southeast after Charlotte, NC (yes, Atlanta, we beat you). They had a great theatre with rocking seats, a cool bowling alley, and many beautiful fountains, one of which I have personally jumped into (I was 16 at the time).
Sears and JC Penney are mere shadows of their former selves. So I guess before long Wal-Mart will be like GUM was in Moscow during the Soviet years. The store that has everything you need because it’s the only store there is. And, as is the case with Ralph’s Pretty Good Grocery in Garrison Keillor’s mythical Lake Wobegon, if they don’t have it at Wal-Mart, you will just have to get along without it, because where else are you going to go?
BTW the land once occupied by Eastwood Mall is now — a Wal-Mart super center. Need I say more?