Wednesday, August 01, 2018

1977 Retail Marriages

There’s a mini Starbucks in the local Target.  This is a violation of two major principles:
1.  You must be able to see another Starbucks through the window of the Starbucks you’re in and Targets don’t have windows.
2.  Big box coffee must have taste and character. Starbucks coffee is bitter and has to be disguised by hiding it under gobs of sweet and/or fattening chemicals.

Other than that, this is a retail marriage made in heaven.  That’s because both companies obey two other major principles:
1.  Make large donations to worthy causes and humble brag about it.
2.  Make the displays well organized, color coordinated so people don’t realize how much they’re paying.

Of course, no marriage is perfect so there are some bad moments between these two lovebirds.
1.  Target’s motorized shopping carts are stabled far from the entrance and it takes so much time and effort to reach them that users need an energy boost.
2.  The mini Starbucks cannot accommodate the carts and if they could, you’d need a megaphone and a hearing aid to ask and tell the Barista standing at a much higher altitude which combination of flavor disguises you want in your coffee.  Baby carriages don’t fit well either.

But the idea of putting two unrelated businesses under the same roof has its merits.  

For example, ailing McFatburger Paradise could put kiosks in the cardiac unit of the local hospital. Good for business in both cases.

Beleaguered department stores could open couch departments where beleaguered husbands could test sofas while their shopaholic wives try on armloads of tops and pants and drool over the jewelry counter.

Public libraries could install kiosks in furniture stores so the waiting spouses have something to read while the browsing spouses give the sales people the third degree about fabric choices.  

And Dunkin’ should think about a kiosk in the break room of the precinct house.

Meantime, around here, people are signing petitions urging Target to install a window so they can see the other Starbucks they’re building across the parking lot.

--The local hospital which doubles as a Jiffy Lube when the weather’s good enough to roll the inpatients out into the parking lot, has closed its dermatology office. The lone doc there gave two months’ notice two months ago and no immediate replacement has yet been found. In the meantime, they turned the office into an extra Lube service bay.

--The hospital announcement comes from its “Department of Care Excellence,” which is staffed by injured former cheerleaders of the local college football team.  It’s the department that sends out a quarterly slick paper magazine extolling its so-called virtues and -- natch -- asks for money, some of which it could save by transferring the cheerleaders to the Jiffy Lube Department. The manager there is a disbarred MD who was too good at raising money to be fired.

--It’s a good thing all this didn’t happen in the maternity department.  Otherwise they’d have had to issue a repeating MP3 that says “...hold it in, mama… hold it in, mama.”  That could get painful.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2018

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