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Thursday, November 26, 2015

TTTM Podcast #2: Black Friday & Happy Thanksgiving

Click below to listen:

TTTM Podcast #2: Black Friday & Happy Thanksgiving


This week's podcast included my annual Thanksgiving message, and talk of the sales and store hours for this year's Black Friday and my memories of Thanksgiving's past growing up in Chicago.

Key Points:

The Black Friday Sales & hours of various stores like JCPenney, Kmart, Wal-Mart and others.

My shopping memories of Black Friday and why its taking over Thanksgiving

The legendary terror's of the Midwest Chicago Bears play Green Bay at Lambeau Field at 7:30.

The A&P store chains close for the last day.

My annual Thanksgiving message

Post commercials on Facebook of the parades and old store ads

Room to Grow:

Thank you for listening and continue to support Trip to the Mall.

Post any opinions both good and bad below and on Facebook

Happy Thanksgiving & Black Friday 2015!

          That time of year is among us again, the time of year, where one day, dinner is a 4:30 in the afternoon for some reason and immediately after eating running in the dark to line up for unbelievable shopping deals, its really a magical time no matter how ridiculous I may be putting it. Yes Ladies and gentlemen, and specifically the people of Chicago, I am talking about Thanksgiving, and if your celebrate the day traditionally, make sure your bird doesn't have the head of Kramer from Seinfeld, and if you don't celebrate it traditionally, have White Castle on Harlem Avenue in the car like I do.

          This Black Friday even sounds stupid to me this years, take JCPenney for instance, they open at 3pm, in the afternoon, the sun hasn't even set yet, I want to stand in line at 3 in the morning, not 3 in the afternoon, what fun is that, it just feels like regular shopping, no special Holiday "stand out in the dark for a 10 dollar toaster" kind of feeling, no "go to the mall with friends before dinner" kind of feeling. Either way, it makes it easier for shoppers, tougher for employee's that work the Black Friday army of eager, turkey drugged shoppers.

          I am a traditionalist, a ridiculous traditionalist, and I want to stand in line a 4 in the morning, not in the afternoon, shop, and go home before Wheel of Fortune starts, but that's just me.

          Maybe next years, stores like Kmart that are open at 6am Thanksgiving Day and close Saturday, will learn not to do that again.

I hope everyone enjoys there Thanksgiving Day with family, friends and love, spend these moments together and prepare to kick ass at Penney's to grad as many 10 dollar gift cards as possible, I just might see you there.

Thanks you for us at TTTM to you!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

TTTM Podcast #1: Welcome to The Voice Behind the Opinion

Click below to listen:
TTTM Podcast #1: Welcome to The Voice Behind the Opinion

This is are first podcast, I am new to this, and did not even use a microphone, I just talked to my computer for 20 minutes and I hope everyone enjoys this, its a great step forward for Trip to the Mall.

Key Points:

Summary of what the podcast is for and simply how you can listen to what is expected in the future by the points I mentioned, juicy stuff!

What I cover on TTTM and Facebook

The time frame for each podcast

Why I choose Thursday

What you guys can do for me

I hope I do not break any Soundcloud rules, don't know how that's possible.

This are getting for humorous than serious.

Room to Grow:

Post any opinions both good and bad below and on Facebook

Thank you for listening and continue to support Trip to the Mall.

FIND: The Mall Game

          Thanks to a post on the Facebook page Dead Mall Enthusiasts, I now know there was once another mall related board game in the 1970's simply called " The Mall Game". The game was produced in the late 70's by Richmar Inc. and here is an eBay listing for a mint condition sealed one being offered for 130 dollars, which isn't bad considering it was most likely 10 dollars new, so the inflation for a complex game of this nature then makes sense now.

          Earlier this year, I posted about the 80's board game Mall Madness, and was resurrected in the 2000's as an all digital, modern version that was shortly later discontinued for good.

Thank you for reading and remember to check out Trip to the Mall on Facebook.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Trip to the Mall Podcast on Souncloud COMING NOVEMBER 19th!!!

          A chance to finally hear the voice behind the opinion, that's right!, Trip to the Mall is going to add a podcast to its already filling ledger of information and content available. For the first time coming on November 19th, I will be hosting a podcast once a week (every Thursday) that will typically last between 20-30 minutes and cover all the relevant news and information on malls and shopping trends that was announced during the course of the week. Major news and information, banter on store history and my famous opinions can now be enjoyed through headphones. Also promoting Trip to the Mall's posts and cover important news and findings relating to my ardor. I will also try to bring some guests, maybe even one of you on to talk, in person, or through speaker phone.

          Turn the volume on high come next Thursday and get ready for are latest chapter!

Friday, November 6, 2015

How Sears Needs to Turn Themselves Around Once and For All!

          The name "Sears" once stood for "Where America Shops!", yet, in recent years, and years I mean well over a decade, the name Sears, like Enron, is used to always describe the negative side. When a company steals money and is caught, its called the Enron effect, when a chain of stores is doing poorly or closes, its related to the chain Sears, and that should no longer be the case. When Americans use the excuse that they don't work or don't have a job because of the economy is no longer valid, the recession ended a long time ago, and you are just being lazy. Sears has had trouble for years, even before 2007, but like the nations economy, it bounced back, and like Sears it should too.

          The name Sears represents American made pride, and traditional values that have been lost, but can be found again. The pictures above is of a store long ago in the 50's, when families looked forward to going to Sears, not just to shop, but to live, to enjoy themselves and what the store had to offer. Below, is a store in the 80's, built in the 50's, by then, Sears was of course a household name, every mall and downtown owed there business to the help of Sears, which is much why now, malls and downtowns are not what they used to be, simply because the loss of tradition, and tradition is Sears.

          By now, its getting pretty tiring of saying "Sears" so much, but if too words now describe the chain today, its "lost" and "forgotten". Mall management look at Sears as a waist of space, and potential for growth. Someone needs to sit down with these designers and tell them, modernizing the mall will not make it better, but make the management companies loose money in renovations that the death of the mall is inevitable.

          Looking way back to the 5-10 chains such as F.W. Woolworth, McCrory's, J.J. Newberry's, G.C. Murphy and many more, the stores were small, maybe that was there flaw, but the restaurant and counter for coffee and donuts is what always got a customer in the store, if you went in to a Woolworth with absolutely no intention of buying anything somehow they still got you to stop for coffee, or ever a water, something to keep you in the store, and you ended up buying something. This is something Sears never tried, but should, because all the modern features they are loosing money on trying to bring former customers back in or the younger consumer market isn't helping, because people that grew up on Sears as kids, buy there cloths and merchandise online, and younger people, don't want to even be seen in Sears.

          I am not saying to go back in time, but cut the modern crap out, simplify the stores, make the sections easy to find and shop in, much like in 2003 with the Sears Grand idea, that had to be the best concept of all time for Sears, a combination of all the traditional amenities of Sears, clothing, tires, electronics, beds, furniture, and the add-on of food and drinks made this the perfect shopping experience.

          This was for what reason, to change signage, or what, the only thing I find great about this commercial is all these stores are open and on my The Almost Complete List All Vintage & Old Store Locations in the Country list.

          I am a traditionalist, maybe that's my hangup, but Sears is a great chain, with great stores, and poor corporate management, maybe they should never have bought Kmart in 2004, and left them on there own in Troy, Michigan, and Sears in Chicago, instead of combining to make for this country's all time suburban blunder headquartered in my backyard of Hoffman Estates, Illinois!

          Sears needs to take one of there best performing stores, in the headquarter suburbs of Schaumburg of Oak brook and bring in traditional styling with modern touched, neutral colored carpet, with LED lights and an open layout, clean aisles, with easy to read and an organized system of the sections, and how one can complement the other, (i.e. put housewares right next to bath accessories, and tires right next to tool), just keep it simple, have lay-a-way, and a food section much like the Big Kmart food section, not the size of a Super Kmart, but the size of a Walgreens.

          Most important part, out a restaurant in the store, right at the entrance, and offer outside choices in like Starbucks, or an in house brand store, like a cafeteria called " American Fare" or "Smart Sense", keep everything consistent.

          Of course none of this or anyone's suggestions will ever happen, and we will just have to watch what will happen in the future for the company, and much of the pictures, as you scroll down, represents the downhill spiral that Sears has faced and what we can expect in the future, in most or are heads already is premeditated.

Thank you for reading and remember to check out Trip to the Mall on Facebook.