Monday, November 10, 2014

Changes We Can’t Control

Every once in a while my wife and I will be driving down the street and think about some of the stores that used to be part of the towns across the main line. All the places that we remember going to as kids and even some of the stores that we would shop at when we were in high school. Those places are becoming harder and harder to find the more we drive up and down the local roads.

We were reminded of this fact when we made our way to the King of Prussia mall this past weekend. We had, no surprise, a few errands to run and a baby registry to complete (finally). It was during this trip that we decided to stop by the newly opened Dick’s Sporting Goods (their prices are still too high). Afterward, we couldn’t help but walk next door and head down the escalator to see what we could find during the final days of the Sears store being open.

I can’t recall how many times that I have been to Sears (this location in particular) over the years but it basically has been a place that I would occasionally find myself walking around throughout my life. This trip was completely different and, unfortunately, all too familiar. With the liquidation of stock in full swing, the department store had been consolidated to a small fraction of a single floor. This was, most likely, the last time that I would be walking up and down those aisles.

While I can’t really complain about getting 60+% off on items, it is still a little sad to be in the midst of forced change. The shelves were nearly barren and racks of clothes sprawled across the middle of the floor in haphazard organization. They even had prices on the shelves themselves along with the carts and displays. The world is changing around us and there is no better example of this than the retail shift that we see every day.

It always seems as though it is the places that had the best selection and prices that are closing up and moving out. From Strawbridge’s, Wannamaker’s, and Sears to Borders, Sam Goody, and Blockbuster, all the places that we remember going to on the weekends are nothing more than a memory. And now we can’t help but think of how the same kinds of changes will continue… what are the places that our son will remember from his childhood that won’t be around when he is an adult?

It is going to be interesting to see how things evolve over the next couple of decades and I wonder if it will be faster or slower than what we have already seen. While it would be nice to have these things remain a stable part of everyday life that simply is not the reality of life. Things change and all we can do is enjoy the memories and hope to make even better ones for our son. We may not be able to control the word around him but we can control how much we love him. Everything else doesn’t really matter.