Well, anyone who's been around me for the past year has probably heard my rants on the death of Marshall Field's, my hate of Macy's, and my vow to do my department store shopping at Carson's . There's just something about the way things went down that don't sit right with me.
In my fantasy world, Federated, Macy's parent company, would've announced their plans to change Fields to Macy's. Then Chicagoans would've revolted en masse. And people did bitch and eventually protest. The papers would've decried the death of Fields as an assault on the city. Decendents of Marshall Field would've gotten their rich faces in front of every TV camera in the city and fought this. The Mayor (who, I love, even if I shouldn't) would've fought this tooth and nail. Lots of people would've cut up their Macy's cards and mailed them to the CEO of Federated. Federated would've been seen as a hero when they, at the last minute, decide to keep Field's alive, announce their plans to reinvigorate the brand name and make Field's innovative again.
Instead, the papers basically rolled out the red carpet for Macy's. Federated was allowed to quote polls that couldn't have been accurate that said people would still shop at Macy's. The Mayor rolled over for Federated when they said they might bring Frango mint production back to Chicago. People mostly shrugged their shoulders and said, I hope they still have the pretty windows at Christmas.
There are several things that bother me about this whole deal.
1) Marshall Field's State Street is a tourist attraction. People who come in from out of town don't say "Let's go visit the department store on State Street." They go to visit the Marshall Fields on State Street. They go to see the shopping palace, they go to the Walnut Room, to see the Tiffany Ceiling, to get that iconic green bag, and take part in something uniquely Chicago. They've killed the local brand. They've killed the tourist attraction.
2) Every place in America is becomming like every place else. Soon, every city will be a choice between getting your groceries at Kroger or Safeway, going out to eat at Chili's or Friday's, your useless stuff from Walmart or Target or, I guess Kmart, and buying your clothes at Macy's or Nordstrom. Not that shopping is the only thing that makes places unique, but let's face it, we're part of a consumer society. A big part of regional identity are the places that we shop at. Marshall Field (along with Sears and Roebuck, Carson-Pirie-Scott, and Montogmery Ward) had a big part in making this city the economic hub it is today. They made this place more than just a stacker or wheat, hog butcher to the world. Sears is in having trouble and who knows how much longer they can hold on, Carson's is abandoning their own iconic State Street Store, and Wards has been gone for several years now. On top of that, last year BankOne (the former 1st Chicago Bank) became Chase. It just seems that everthing these days is getting taken over by New York brand names. Not everyone wants where they live to be like New York. If I wanted New York, I would move to New York.
Ok, I'm ranting. Rant done.
In other news, I bought the new Justin Timberlake today. It's soooo good. I'm hooked. And souless. I decided today that I would buy the first CD in more than a year. And I had narrowed it down to the new Beyonce, the new X-tina, JT, or the new TV on the Radio. Considering that I had (illegally? honestly I don't know if it was or not.. I burned it from a friend) downloaded the TV on the Radio awhile ago, that was out of the running, for the time being. And when I got to Best Buy, Justin was only $9.99. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner.
Ok, time for my Justin to sing me to sleep. He is bringing Sexy back, you know.