I live in a relatively small city bordering the Great Lakes. Those of us who live here benefit from a low cost of living, affordable housing, and all the beaches and waterfront property we can stand. If we hanker for excitement, we have easy access to two major highways which connect us to the major cities of Ontario.
We suffer from one shortcoming, however: we aren’t situated on the 401 corridor, the major highway in Ontario. The outcomes of our regrettable geography are many. For example, we are the last to receive social service funding, standing in line behind similarly sized cities which ARE on the corridor.
Also, we are the last–if ever–to receive expansions of commerce. I didn’t know that major retailers had “tiered” stores until I moved here. There are “first tier” stores, which have all the departments and merchandise sold by the retailer; there are “second tier” stores, which have fewer departments and less merchandise, and finally, there are “third tier” stores, which can be reduced to a lonely kiosk in the center of a shopping mall.
Body Shop is a good example is this. When it first opened here, Body Shop was a bone fide store, with walls and everything. After a few years, it was reduced to a teeny kiosk near the food court. A year or so later, it got its walls back again, although with less product. According to Body Shop staff, the kiosk experiment failed. Another example of this kind of corporate stupidity is the Cleo retailer. Cleo sells women’s clothing, both for work and leisure. It’s one of the few stores that caters to adult females, with adult female figures. I happened to be in London shopping one day, and saw a sweater I liked. When I got home, I decided to drive to our local Cleo store to buy it. The store manager said that our store didn’t carry it, and that if we wanted certain merchandise they would have to call the London store–which would, in turn get the sale credit.
Now the Target retailer is coming to Canada. No more cross-border shopping, we cheered. But wait–we’re not getting a Target. Every single comparable town and city within a 200 km radius is. What is up with that, anyway?
I’ll be damned if I’m going to wait an hour on the bridge, pay the toll, get hassled by customs, all for the pleasure of shopping at the American Target.
I say we should boycott. Any takers? 😉