Saturday, November 15, 2008

I Have Seen Despair and It Is Bridgeport Village

Every media face seems to be worried that we are not buying stuff, which means we are all worried we are in a recession, which means we are all totally in a recession.

We aren't people buying?

I could answer that question if I could lead you around the wonder that is Bridgeport Village (current motto:  Change of Season, Change of You.  For real).  I doubt that it would be necessary to travel to Tualatin, Oregon to experience Bridgeport Village. I'm sure there are similar hell-holes all across the country.  

The hallmarks of these fancy new consumer-towns are that, as opposed to the old-school malls, you can drive your BMW around these.  And if you are in Southern California, there is a good chance that the potted plants play Sinatra music.  And there are no discount stores.  Just Abercrombies, Banana Republics, Crate & Barrel, and the like.  The odd thing is that although you can drive around them you may not park anywhere other than the parking lot/garage, so I'm a little confused as to the purpose of the roads.

Actually, I'm confused about the purpose of the stores.  There are indeed clothes in there.  But they are (a) ugly, or (b) scratchy, or (c) scratchy and ugly.  And I don't think any of the store personnel wished me to purchase any of their products. Maybe they have other plans for them, because they weren't in a hurry to offer them to me.  You would think that they would be worried about their jobs, seeing that I was occasionally the only one in the store on a Saturday afternoon, but maybe they hadn't thought about the connection.  You know, the one between me buying something and the company having enough money to pay them some.

I have to confess that those places put me in such a sour mood that an item of clothing would have to be pretty spectacular for me to wish to leave any money behind in one of those stores.

I went to Bridgeport Village for some training on how to use this Macbook (as I am a recovering PC person and completely clueless).  As it was in the Pioneer Place mall in Portland where we bought it, everybody was in the Apple Store.  It apparently was the one store in the shopping center selling items that consumers wanted to buy.  In fact, the products are so popular, you actually have to make an appointment to purchase them.

Word to American product sellers:  make things that work OR are well-designed OR aren't ugly, and they will come.

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