The New Age Of Department Stores.

Doug from the Bronx no longer works at Macys.  This machine has replaced his expertise and in many ways, outdoes his personality.

Doug from the Bronx no longer works at Macys. This machine has replaced his expertise and in many ways, outdoes his personality.

For years, department stores have been losing ground to the Internet.

I just bought boxer-briefs from eBay.  15 dollars for 30 pairs.  That’s fifty cents per pair.

How hot am I?

Now, retail stores are fighting back.  They’re using a developmental kiosk that will serve as the interface point between the store and its customers.

For example:

You go to Nordstrom and find a pair of trousers you think are nice.  Instead of waiting in line to purchase these trousers, you approach a 5 foot tall computer screen.  You scan your Nordstrom card in and the screen greets you by welcoming you by name.  Probably mispronounced.  And in that creepy, Stephen Hawkings voice.

Then, you scan the barcode of your trousers and it suggests a particular type of shirt you should buy with it.  It also informs you of other trousers that are similar and where they’re located in the store.  It’ll disclose deals, specials, sales.  Everything a Nordstrom associate would do if they weren’t out smoking doobies by the loading docks.

I think this is a strong move in the right direction for department stores.  Unless you’re a fashion retail outlet with a tightly-woven business model like Zara or H&M, you’re looking to take a beating in this economic climate.  Clothing can be purchased cheaper, on deals or on close-outs.  Or in garage sales.  I once bought a shirt from a garage sale for 35 cents.  I took it home and then before I tried wearing it, I was grossed out by the whole concept of wearing a shirt someone else wore.  I know, I know.  I’m being uppity.  But really?  Who knows what they did with it.  What if they stalked high school girls in it.  Then I parade around town in the shirt and all of a sudden, I have seventeen restraining orders.

That would not be worth thirty-five cents.

Which is why I gave it to my cousin.

  • That will serve as the interface point between the store and its customers.

  • For years, department stores have been losing ground to the Internet.

  • Everything a Nordstrom associate would do if they weren’t out smoking doobies by the loading docks.

  • I have seventeen restraining orders.

  • And in that creepy, Stephen Hawkings voice.

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