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Shop Around: Tales Of Retail

Ermintruder

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#1
There was a Woolworths reminiscence thread somewhere on the forum, but I can't find it (perhaps it's been suddenly closed, and the stock sold).

Anyway: cutting to the chase. TK Maxx (this will only resonate with Brits & Aussies, so others will need to have subtitles).

Am I the only person to find it a decidedly-strange store? I cannot shake the impression that the stock is actually artificial, and intended for use on-stage as theatrical props.

Everything looks quite-realistic, until you handle it. Then, it's always too light/heavy/shiny to be a real thing.

I don't mean this in any tin-foil-hat or "that Ermintruder has definitely lost it (but they always were crazy, anyway)" sort of a way.

But it really does give me an odd...impression.

Am I unique in suspecting it may be an artificial company? And are there any other....unconvincing shops, that you've noticed?
 

Bigphoot2

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#3
There was a Woolworths reminiscence thread somewhere on the forum, but I can't find it (perhaps it's been suddenly closed, and the stock sold).

Anyway: cutting to the chase. TK Maxx (this will only resonate with Brits & Aussies, so others will need to have subtitles).

Am I the only person to find it a decidedly-strange store? I cannot shake the impression that the stock is actually artificial, and intended for use on-stage as theatrical props.

Everything looks quite-realistic, until you handle it. Then, it's always too light/heavy/shiny to be a real thing.

I don't mean this in any tin-foil-hat or "that Ermintruder has definitely lost it (but they always were crazy, anyway)" sort of a way.

But it really does give me an odd...impression.

Am I unique in suspecting it may be an artificial company? And are there any other....unconvincing shops, that you've noticed?
What a great idea for a story :)
 

BlackPeter

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#6
I HAVE been inside TK Maxx and once bought a strange but interesting book there called 'Fantasy Worlds' detailing a whole range of "worlds" created all in many countries by 'artists' often consisting of weird gardens crammed with bizarre sculptures.
 

JamesWhitehead

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#10
I think I know what Ermintruder means. The decorative items are rather odd: robots, film-projectors or petrol-pumps made out of random bits of welded metal. Balsa-wood boxes plastered all over with retro ads. Bottles of beans that look like dentures, teas flavoured with clowns' tears and a volcanic landscape of tagines.

I go in the one at Manchester Fort - yes there is such a place, just off Cheetham Hill - in the fond hope I might once again find a bottle of Guerlain's Habit Rouge. It is my favourite scent but the regular price is a bit much! :cry:
 

Shady

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#12
I have bought a huge wine glass, to put pop in, beautiful thing it was, i think thats the only thing i have bought, and just to say that SportsWorld, in Shirebrook have made their downstairs into a TK Maxx kinda shop, its just like it in everyway.

I think its just a few books, and to me it seems like its stuff that some crazy person has picked up from other strange stores to re-sell
 

oldrover

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#13
I quite like TKMaxx. I don't shop there regularly but I went in there the other day and came out with a pair of cycling shoes and an American t shirt. Best fit, although the XL size is very snug, best cut and quality t shirt I've ever bought. Ten pounds it cost, I Googled the label to see if there was anyway to get a few more and it turned out that it was made by an actual company, rather than one of their own mystery in house 'designer labels', and they cost $10 in the States.

Ten bloody dollars! Why can they produce quality like that for that price when you'd be paying closer to £50 over here.
 

David Plankton

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#14
Am I the only person to find it a decidedly-strange store? I cannot shake the impression that the stock is actually artificial, and intended for use on-stage as theatrical props.

There is something fundamentally wrong with every item they stock, that's why it's there and not in a proper shop, because they couldn't sell it at the original price.
Example - an absolutely beautiful pair of brown leather brogues. From above. The sole was hi viz yellow. Why?
 

Ermintruder

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#15
There is something fundamentally wrong with every item they stock, that's why it's there and not in a proper shop, because they couldn't sell it at the original price.
I think that certainly may be the case with their clothes (which, I think, may be two sizes smaller than marked) but whether that also extends to a faux antique globe of the world made of paper machê that's actually a toilet roll dispenser....well, maybe, yes, in fact.

I think I know what Ermintruder means. The decorative items are rather odd: robots, film-projectors or petrol-pumps made out of random bits of welded metal. Balsa-wood boxes plastered all over with retro ads. Bottles of beans that look like dentures, teas flavoured with clowns' tears and a volcanic landscape of tagines.
This is a big part of it, you summarise it well.

But it's also got a definite cargo-culture / we've-tried-to-make-a-shop-you-earthlings-will-recognise sort-of feel about it, as well.

The staff are always thin, preened and far too savvy to be real shop-slaves. They're all either extras from a Tom Cruise movie, or undercover agents for a government agency.

The labels that say "Once it's gone, it's gone" give the impression that there is no actual stock control at all. Because they just sell anything. Whether it's stock or not. If you wanted/needed a Mogwai, or one of these...
 

Ermintruder

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#17
Example - an absolutely beautiful pair of brown leather brogues. From above. The sole was hi viz yellow. Why?
To allow the corpse to be easily-located in the storm-drain, of course.

Incidently: somebody will buy one of these brogues. And someone else will buy the other.

As well as an ironically-chipped mug, and a coat-rack made from the shoulder of an elk, punctuated by square nails saved from the True Cross.

I don't think I've even seen one
Further proof!
 

David Plankton

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#18
Slight diversion, but I've just been informed that the "It's a Pound" store around here is selling certain goods marked at £2.50 and £5.00.
 

David Plankton

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#20
To allow the corpse to be easily-located in the storm-drain, of course.
Of course. I'm always reminded of the ever diminishing amount of time I have left on this world when I visit TK Maxx. Why wouldn't I want to help the police locate my body in an expeditious manner? Makes sense and saves the tax payer.
 

Ermintruder

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#21
That's the spirit!

Notice also the strange semi-edibles in TK Maxx. Things like Wasabi-coated peanuts in a cardboard kingfisher, marked "Best before Oct 2025".

Or gloopy coffee flavourings in thick glass bottles that are undoubtedly-radioactive.

Note casual hints as to their otherworldliness... "Pyrex Two-Piece Kitchen Lab Set".
http://www.tkmaxx.com/kitchen/two-piece-kitchen-lab-set/invt/85262838

'Where do you keep your rat-strainers?'
"I'm sure they're over by the bathroom mats shaped like flattened manatees"
'Thanks- I'll take them all, and that stained wall mirror from the Rue Morgue'
 

oldrover

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#22
There is something fundamentally wrong with every item they stock, that's why it's there and not in a proper shop, because they couldn't sell it at the original price.
Example - an absolutely beautiful pair of brown leather brogues. From above. The sole was hi viz yellow. Why?
That's the thing they make most of their own stuff. Most of the labels there don't exist anywhere else.

But, after bringing home the neutral canvas cycling shoes I did notice that yes, they really do have electric yellow hi vis soles.
 

Ermintruder

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#25
Perhaps TK Maxx is an example of post-post-ironic metamarketing. So it neither cares, nor knows, what it sells. Or whether it works.

It's staff have less product knowledge than an Argos apprentice on a Tuesday back-shift.

Imagine the fascinating Customer Services conversations-
"I bought this neon-coloured elasticated strap to personally-characterise my suitcase at the airport baggage collection area. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that not only does it not fit, it shed it's skin and ate my poodle"
'Ah, sir, in fairness, it is meant to do that, if you don't replace both the CR2032 batteries within the first week of operation'
 

David Plankton

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#26
That's the thing they make most of their own stuff. Most of the labels there don't exist anywhere else.
I've just asked the wife and she says they have Ted Baker, Deisel, Firetrap and Benneton cast offs. I thought their thing was that they sold branded stuff.
 

rynner2

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#27
But, after bringing home the neutral canvas cycling shoes I did notice that yes, they really do have electric yellow hi vis soles.
Sounds like a good road safety feature. If the bike rider is using a good 'ankle-ing' technique (as opposed to an old man 'instep on the pedal' technique) he'll show regular flashes of yellow to traffic behind him. :)

(Should this be in the Cycling thread?)
 

oldrover

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#28
I've just asked the wife and she says they have Ted Baker, Deisel, Firetrap and Benneton cast offs. I thought their thing was that they sold branded stuff.
They do have stuff made by exterior companies, but most of their designer you've never heard of labels are own brand stuff.

Nothing wrong with that of course.
 

oldrover

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#29
Sounds like a good road safety feature. If the bike rider is using a good 'ankle-ing' technique (as opposed to an old man 'instep on the pedal' technique) he'll show regular flashes of yellow to traffic behind him. :)

(Should this be in the Cycling thread?)
Not to worry my ankles which are pure brilliant white will completely outshine the day glo glare of the soles.
 
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