Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Scruples, Sleeping Kittens and Shopping

"Shopping has become a form of entertainment, Billy, whether you like it or not. A visit to Scruples is just not fun and your potential customers demand fun from the stores they visit. You can even go all the way and call it the Disneyland concept of retailing."

My kittens disdainfully pushed a few books to the floor in unison to curl up for a delicious catnap. Judith Krantz's Scruples was amongst the dislodged books and so I settled for skimming the yellowing pages, stopping to see that it had been released in 1979. I quickly realized that a book filled with characters "dithering with rapture" and dripping with "Chloe, Zandra Rhodes, Thea Porter" could no more be rushed than the production of a bittersweet chocolate souffle with a dollop of freshly whipped heavy cream. Billy did change Scruples into the world's most seductive, inviting store, "chockablock" with heaps of temptations and fun. It only took millions and a few chapters to accomplish.

Slapping a little lipstick on the last couple of years, dusting off the memories of 401K statements so frightening they were immediately stuffed unopened into drawers with quivering fingers, crumpling newspapers with unemployment headlines and now there is a pent-up need to shop and nothing is better than a new pair of shoes, a pretty floral print skirt, an armload of shocking pink bracelets and off to Scruples. If only ...

The big bookstores do try with comfy armchairs and Starbucks near the magazines but they seem to have trained their staff to hide from the customers. If you do trap a salesperson (is it sales associate now?) they turn to their computer to check stock on the book, tell you that it's out of stock but available on line and cheaper than it would be in the store. Hmmmm, cheaper on line and not stocked in the store.

It's become so easy to shop online for almost everything. and carry almost every designer, do deep end of season discounts and is always there. So many stores have shops online, offer free shipping and easy breezy returns, send little notes when something you want comes in and thank you for your order. Hautelook, Gilt and now eBay have designer things in season with slashed prices or special groups.

It's not Disneyland, no. I wonder what Ms. Krantz makes of this moment. I would so love to dither with rapture.

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely brilliant! I used to know a certain store that was as enticing and fulfilling a shopping experience as the "Disneyland concept of retailing" that Scruples brought to the world's attention. Comments please Ms. Krantz?


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