Macy’s vs. JC Penney

We took the girls down to Skateville in Burnsville last night and then had a few hours to kill.

We started by going to dinner at Saigon Palace on West Burnsville Parkway. It’s a small place in a strip mall, but the Pho was good as was the noodle salad. I would return.

After that we headed over to Rockler Woodworking, but they closed at 7:00 and it was 7:15 when we pulled up!  So no love there.

We thought it might be fun to go look at shoes, so we headed back to Burnsville Center Mall and went into Schuler Shoes. Liz didn’t find anything there, so we went into the mall. We started out at Macy’s.

Macy’s used to be a kind of up-scale place. But this place looked like a dump. The carpets were filthy and the colors were drab. All the display fixtures were dirty and chipped. The wall paper was peeling. The shoe shelves were dusty and there was even a flickering florescent light on one shelf. To top it off, the shoe department is located in the nexus of three different departments and all three were playing different music. It was a cacophony. It felt almost post-apocalyptic. There were three pairs of shoes that we wanted to look at, and they only had one pair in Liz’s size. The sales clerk was pleasant at least.

We wandered the mall and discovered there was a JC Penney there, so we went in. Even though it was a JC Penney, it was much nicer than the Macy’s store. It was clean, brightly light and the fixtures looked relatively new. There also was no discordant music playing. The shoe selection was better too, but we didn’t find anything that we thought was worth buying.

The experience in Macy’s saddened me a little. I used to love to go to Dayton’s and it was always a pleasant place to shop. Then Marshall Field’s bought them out and they started to go down hill. After they were converted to Macy’s I pretty much stopped going there.

I understand that retail is a tough business, but making your stores pleasant to shop in is a kind of important piece of the puzzle.