Brick and mortar stores seem on the rocks

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The end of the holidays sees the once iconic stores of other generations on the proverbial rocks of problems and bankruptcy to the likes of Amazon, and a host of online stores including Walmart, and others that are reaping benefits from internet sales that are not tied to so called “brick and mortar” stores.

I once worked for Sears, as a young teenager in Hackensack and Union City, and once shopped at now long gone stores like Stearns, Abraham and Straus and many grand mall areas like those in Paramus, where there were at least 3 malls in operation, and the city of Hackensack, which still has an old Sears that continues, and once had a Packards that closed closed years ago. I learned to drive in the parking lot of Alexander’s, which a gigantic mural on its wall in between Route 4 and 17- the mural is warehoused somewhere, and, of course, long gone is Two Guys or its metamorphosis into Vornado, a real estate vendor.

I had the opportunity to work at Sears in Union City, and in the grand old store in Hackensack. Stores and malls tended to move out of traditional cities or county seats like Hackensack to vast highways where suburbs and ex rural areas developed. Sears, which is on its last legs, and now shares space with a gamer chain is in great difficulty, and seemingly heads for bankruptcy, while other chains like Macys and JC Pennys have ups and downs. My first credit card was with Pennys, and the founder J.”Cash” Penny was still alive and still handled operations in his 90s!.

Times have changed, but there is always a need for a “brick and mortar store even for simple competition and for showing us the best products in real time. My daughter is a lawyer, and we get invited to Macy clothes modeling events via a large tri-county Chamber of Commerce, which Macy's is a member — that is indeed fun.

Find the niche to continue- all of you stores, including Sears with an amazing history.

Bill Weightman


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