Saturday, March 15, 2014

Markets in my Home Town

I was surprised when I walked into Walmart in Worcester, Massachusetts. I may have been in one before but I had no idea it was also a supermarket and a department store.  Target has evolved into the same type of market. These stores are massive with huge quantities of items. Is the demand really there?

When I moved to Amman, it seemed that everywhere I turned I would find candy on nearly every shelf. How odd I thought. But, the supermarkets in the U.S. have the same pattern of marketing. Do we really need so much chocolate? It inspires me to bake more just to have something home-made.

The question that arose in my mind was, "With this abundant clothing supply, why does everyone dress so poorly?"

It seems the way to go is to complement these stores with specialty shops that are distinct and draw a more refined clientele. While I wish there were greater variety of goods in Amman, most of the products I want are sufficient for me.

It also struck me that the population of the city is much more diverse than even a decade ago. I sense the city has changed a great deal as minority populations settle in and make the city their home - buy houses, open businesses, and develop neighborhoods.

The Auburn Mall was opened in the late-1960s or early 1970s. It was sufficient and it was the place to be when I was a youth. It had a wide range of stores and you had to walk such length to get from one end to another. I visited for the first time in perhaps 30 years and it resembles the mall of my youth. Sure, it is cleaned up and fashionable stores are trying it out and it is doing O.K. It needs a second floor if it is going to be a competitive mall or it needs a sunroof with atrium so there is a feeling of expansiveness. Urban planners could have a great time with old buildings.

It is quite a trip down memory lane.

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