I Just Caught a Glimpse of Dystopia
And believe me, it wasn't pretty. The Sears in our already substandard rural mall is closing. Ours is one of an initial 79 stores in the Sears Holding Corporation that is closing after a disappointing holiday shopping season. The store is currently liquidating its merchandise. Electronics and home appliances are marked down between 25-50%. Seasonal items, such as clothing, are marked anywhere from 50-75%. These are not the sort of drastic sales you might expect because what doesn't sell by April 30th, when the store is set to shut its doors, will be transported to other Sears stores that are still in business. But still, the store is swamped with people trying to find a deal.
It's really a dismal atmosphere. Sections of the store are completely bare. There is no rhyme or reason to the displays. Everything has been picked over. The bright yellow signs hanging from the ceiling are depressing. What's worse is the thought of an anchor store sitting empty after multiple smaller stores in the mall have already left. With few chain retail stores left, I fear the whole place will be turned into a factory outlet mall.
In the hour I was in the store, I witnessed two altercations between customers and store employees. In both instances, the customer was rude, and the employee lost his cool.
An irate man at the jewelry counter yelled, "Is anyone going to help me? I've been standing here 25 minutes." An employee walked past and said to him, "You have to let her finish helping that other man." Then there was a back and forth exchange about which customer was at the counter first. In frustration he said, "Never mind. It's not worth it. This sort of thing is the reason why you're going out of business." "No," retorted the employee, "it's because of people like you." Again, they went back and forth and sounded like children fighting on a playground. The customer left in a huff.