Remember Joni Mitchell’s song “Big Yellow Taxi,” where she lamented about how “they” paved Paradise and put up a parking lot? Well, I know how she feels. “They” just completed a muddled remodel at my favorite Target store. Now I feel like Joni. Paradise – and I – are lost.
Where once greeting cards were displayed, summer swimsuits frolic under a florescent sun. Where once fabulous inexpensive pocketbooks hung, God knows what is for sale.
Even the trusty Return counter where items could go back, no questions, no hassle, has gotten a facelift. Candy and other sundry temptations are now for sale, beckoning me down a caloric and micro-spending highway 20 seconds after I’ve entered the sweet, sweet air-conditioned doors of Target.
🎵 “Now, don’t it always seem to go That you don’t know what you’ve got til its gone They paved paradise And put up a parking lot”🎵
“Big Yellow Taxi,” 1970
Some Say Walmart
Some women like Walmart. Not me. Too crowded. Some gals are J.C. Penney fans. So be it.
But Target is, hands down, my favorite store. I have credit cards to Nordstrom, Costco, Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue, and I do frequent those stores. But if I need a quick pick-me-up or I’ve got an hour (or two) to kill, it’s off to Target I go.
Target’s got everything I need (except theater tickets). Paper towels, cosmetics, fun and funky greeting cards, housewares, even organic produce.
Pre-School Time Out
When my children went to pre-school, Target was my favored go-to time-killer. Pre-school is, of course, that nether time zone of Mommydom – 2 ½ hours … not enough time to actually accomplish anything, even (sigh) return home to take that long nap you long for.
Target, however, is the ideal 2 ½ hour filler. You can linger by the linens. Dawdle by the detergent. Dillydally by the dish sets. And there’s the strong likelihood you’ll run into several other sister pre-school Moms, hanging onto shopping carts and their sanity until kiddie pick-up time.
Shopping at Target is fun. It’s inexpensive. It’s trendy. You can buy a lot and not spend not a lot. Items are colorful. And items are disposable. Like them today. If you don’t like them tomorrow, oh, well. Guilty-free, impulse shopping. And best of all, most of the items I buy at Target I really do like and hang on to for years. (Think Halloween decorations.)
Board, But Not Bored
Today, of course, my kids are long past pre-school, but I serve on the board of directors of an organization that’s just the proverbial hop, skip and a jump from that favorite Target store I’m talking about. On meeting days, I carefully schedule my time to ensure I can make a Target run before or afterwards.
That Target-time fortifies me for what I fear might be a long, contentious session, or rewards me for what might be a dreary marathon meet! And, sure enough, just like in those pre-school Mom-dom days, I’m 100% guaranteed to run into a fellow board member or two jonesing for that same got-to-get-me-my-Target fix.
Off-Target at Target – a Muddled Remodel
So you can imagine my dismay and the disruption to my schedule that this whole muddled store re-design has done to my psyche!
When I was younger, I wouldn’t have given a store re-model a second thought. I would have just buzzed in and picked up what I needed and buzzed out. Who cared what the store looked – or felt – like?
Change in general was welcome. It was fun. But not now. As a middle-aged muddler, too much is changing around me that I don’t like – my stamina, my health, the health of people I love, modern manners, and the state of the world. Is it too much to ask that my Target stay the same?
Tissue, Tissue. Who’s Got the Tissues?
I just don’t understand this major re-design from a store marketing and sales perspective. How is it an improvement to move the greeting cards further back in the store and women’s swimsuits into that primo front-of-the store location? Surely more people need greeting cards and gift wrap than ladies’ bathing suits?
And why in sneeze’s name did they separate tissues from all the other paper supplies? You might as well move the Empire State Building out of NYC and into Milwaukee.
Yes, they paved Joni Mitchell’s Paradise and also made my Target a little chic, a little shinier. Oh, progress is sad. Oh, Joni. What can we do?
🎵 “Now, don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
Til its gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot”🎵