Jewish World Review March 12, 2002 / 28 Adar, 5762

Ian Shoales

Ian Shoales
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Consumer Reports

Life in the warehouse


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | HERE in California, we understand retail. We are on the cutting edge.

You doubt it? Take a look at Martinez, California, which has joined Sam Walton (or rather his shade and/or its representatives) to place a police station in a Walmart.

Does this mean that police can actually be bought, even had at a discount?

No. Should the space, rights, or purchased goods of Walmart customers, or even of those citizens in the buying vicinity be infringed upon in any way, those police are there to pounce.

You can't say the same about the Olsen Twins, Mary Kate and Ashley, who also have set up shop not only in Martinez, but in Walmarts across the country. They represent a retail concept called "shop-in-shop," as opposed to "cop-in-shop," the even newer retail concept.

The Olsen Twins (or rather their representatives) have an arrangement with Walmart to have a mini- Mary Kate and Ashley store inside each Walmart, kind of a boutique within a warehouse.

This is very odd, if you think about it, ironic even. Over the past twenty years, the mongo hyper-retail outfits have forced smaller retail outfits out of business. So now, smaller retail outfits are taking up shop inside the walls of the mongo hyper-retail outfits. And, in Martinez, California, some city functions are moving inside those mega-walls.

I hate to sound like a futurist-- though the future is only satire with clipped wings-- but if the suburbs sucked the life out of urban centers, and mega-retail sucked the life out of normal-sized retail, are we now headed towards some mutation of feudalism?

Following the Olsen Twins and the cops, are we all gradually going to move into the Walmart or Costco, lock, stock, and barrel? I think so. There will be no more driving to the mall. We will LIVE in the mall, work there, play there, go to sleep there, safe from the elements and marauding hordes, shopping securely under one big retail roof.

Remember spaceship earth? Forget about it: Warehouse Earth.



JWR contributor Ian Shoales is the author of, among others, Not Wet Yet: An Anthology of Commentary. Comment by clicking here.

Up

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01/22/02: Save the Grand Ole Opry?
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12/07/01: Conspiracy by the 'fat suit' lobby?
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10/17/01: Pathetic me
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09/07/01: Boy Loses Girl, Boy Bites Girl, Boy Gets Girl
09/05/01: Virtual elegance?
08/31/01: I COPY, THEREFORE I AM
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08/20/01: I robot, you Jane
08/15/01: A wild and crazy world!
08/10/01: When the future was "as real as a dime"
08/08/01: Garage Dearth!
08/06/01: That Big Clock
08/02/01: Stop the pop!
07/31/01: Catchphrase history of the world
07/26/01: The Bride of Science
07/23/01: That java jive
07/17/01: Homogenized hegemony
07/13/01: Applying Newton's First Law of Physics to textbooks
07/10/01: The dumb and the dead

© 2001, Ian Shoales