The Power of Place

We were at DSW the other evening, killing some time between dinner out and a movie. I like DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse?). They have lot’s of shoes I like and they play some cool downtempo music. It’s fun to hang out there. It brought to mind something I have noticed. In the retail/service sector, there are places that I enjoy and can hang out for awhile and other places that I can’t wait to get out of. Why is this? I just don’t know. But off the top of my head here are some of my faves and not-so-faves:

Places I like. These are places where I can go up and down the aisles and generally put me in a good mood:

  • Small bookstores
  • Trader Joe’s
  • PCC (a natural grocery chain)
  • Metropolitan Market and Thriftway (local high-end chains with lots of specialty foods)
  • DSW – I am not sure exactly why I bought that last pair of shoes, but it’s almost like I need to buy something before I leave the store. And I’m not that into shoes!
  • Hardware stores (even Home Depot when it’s not busy and I’m not tired) – I especially like McLendons and Dunn Lumber (small Seattle-area chains)
Places I don’t like. Get in, get out, avoid if at all possible:
  • The Post Office. On those rare occasions when people working the counter actually have a pulse and there is only one or two in line, then it’s not so bad.
  • PetSmart – I love dogs and cats, so how can I not love PetSmart? I don’t know, but I don’t even want to be friendly back to the friendly cashiers.
  • Big box office supply stores – Staples, Office Depot, Office Max
  • WalMart – This place is generally oppressive to me and puts me in a bad mood.
  • Large shopping malls, especially the upscale ones – Recently I was in Nordstrom browsing the “sale” rack and saw a shirt on “sale” for $385.
What about you? What are your most-loved and -hated places?

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