28 thoughts on “May 28, 2017

  1. Eh, Maybe it is because the mall where I live is still pretty active but I haven’t noticed this. Sure people are on there phones but it is usually to take pictures or to compare prices. (Though to be fair the mall where I live seems more like a giant advertisement for companies rather than stores at this point. An example is there is a Tesla store that doesn’t have anything for sale and the only thing that they have in the place is model of some high end car that isn’t for sale. I think its only use is to attract people so that they remember the name for some reason. I’m still kind of baffled how it has employees who get paid to do nothing. If that makes sense.)

    Sorry if this is a double. First time I submitted nothing showed up.

    • The other car dealerships probably made it illegal to sell directly to people in your state. They may be redirecting interested buyers out of state, but giving test drives and such to get that out of the way.

      • Exactly what the Tesla Stores do. You can put your order together, look at the colors and feel and touch the finishes of the interior and sit in one to get a feel for the car. Much better than when I ordered a car through a major manufacture, “here pick a color and guess what interior color you will like with it.”

      • What Tesla is doing is kinda like Showrooming, where some goes into a store, looks at what they are interested in, then goes home to buy it on line. The employees are there to assist the interested parties in any way and even can let customers test drive the vehicles on hand now! Now as I understand it, the employees in those locations are Tesla employees, not employees of a franchisee who owns the store like a normal car dealership. That was how the auto sales started and IIRC, was to reduce the financia liability to the automaker back when cars were just becoming 100+ years ago. Problem is though, as dealer owners grew more powerful in their states and began to be able to lobby their representitives, they got laws passed that protected the dealerships from having the manufacturers direct sell in their states to so much as protecting them from the manufacturer’s wrath if they did something that was questionable or worse and the manufacturer wanted to do something to punish them for it. Tesla leapfrogs that by selling on line directly and then having the cars delivered to the pre determined, public area and it is treated like an out of state car purchase. That said, I don’t know if any dealer owners lobbying group have tried fo ban that, which could screw themselves over such a law started going elsewhere, since it could affect dealerships selling to out of state customers too.

    • Seeing as many shopping malls double as public transit hubs where I live, we’ve still got a fair number of highly-active malls. Despite that fact, the “parking lot surrounded by box stores” business model is still creeping into place across my city anyway.


  2. Tesla showrooms work that way because they’re required to by law. It’s illegal for a car manufacturer to operate a car dealership.

      • I’m just taking a stab here, but at least where I am from for example, Ford doesn’t own the Ford dealership. A private person owns the dealership and leases the ford name. I’m headed to google right now to see if I can find the actual law.

        • Found it…
          “Direct automaker-to-consumer sales are now prohibited in almost every state by franchise laws requiring that new cars be sold only by licensed, independently owned dealerships. The specific prohibitions in these laws vary from state to state, but most are based on two underlying principles.”

      • And who would miss them?
        90 percent of the interiors of both malls in my local area are geared towards women’s fashion crap, and at such high prices for stuff that they could get at a Walmart for 50 percent cheaper. There’s hardly any sporting goods shops or “Men’s Wear” stores there like there used to be 20 years earlier. Only good thing about the malls now is the food court. No other reason for a guy to go beyond the food court unless he happens to be looking for something to buy in order to impress the wife/girlfriend. And many women have made it clear that us guys aren’t too good at picking out whatever they like.

        • When I got here, (80s) Austin had three main malls. One is now a college campus, the smallest one is changing concepts every time I visit. The largest one is still hanging in there. (another tiny walk-around, kinda-covered mall was remodeled to center-style) Most malls are being built as shopping centers, now.
          “Destination Shopping” Unfortunately, they are like Plan-o-grams. Same batch of stores, no personality. I spent a weekend hitting one store, in four different centers (looking for the clearance items), and at one point, I went out to the parking lot, and had to really think to figure which center I was at. I hate them. The only good thing, is lots of restaurants in the area.

  3. The world changed but the malls stayed the same. Also, too many companies built too many stores – Macy’s, for example. I like the style where the mall is more a shopping center with “blocks” of stores which are connected by covered walk ways with plazas on the ground level. Smaller parking lots are constructed near the entrances of the anchor stores. The original style of a behemoth building housing dozens of stores with asphalt acres of parking is over.

    • It is reality and not just the kids either. Little rule of politeness: unless your phone call relates to a family emergency it can wait until you are done checking out. The person behind the register is a human so treat them like one.

      • Well, the girls in this strip are out in the mall common area and not at a register, so they’re okay. Though it’s still kind of silly to go to a mall just to play on the phone. It’s even sillier to go somewhere you have to pay admission, like the zoo or a movie, and play on the phone rather than look at the animals or watch the movie.

        Norm did cover the customer on the phone scenario in an early strip: http://retailcomic.com/comics/january-7-2006/

      • Except Val chose to not remove the security tags after the person made the purchase.

        As annoyed as the cashier is that the person the phone is talking on the phone instead of to them, the customer’s job isn’t to entertain the cashier. If the customer should only be required to pay enough attention to the cashier to answer necessary questions to complete the purchase, such as showing id for age-restrictions and the like.

        If they want to gab on the phone, that is perfectly fine, provided they produce adequate currency in a timely fashion at the time to pay and do not, in any other way, needlessly hold up the line due to the phone call.

        • Except the majority of customers are too absorbed on their phone to listen to a staff member. I had a regular where I work give me a dirty look for trying to get his attention while he was on the phone, which resulted in this conversation:

          Me: He’ll be back before long.
          Colleague: What makes you say that?
          Me: I was trying to point out to him he bought screw cap bulbs for bayonet cap fittings.

          Sure enough, he was back to change the bulbs, a fact that he wouldn’t have needed if he was willing to listen to me.

          • To me it’s just a sign of disrespect to be talking on the phone while interesting with a cashier. If they’re too busy to interact with an actual human being right in front of them I’m too busy to thank them and have a nice day. We have turned into a society of cell phone zombies.

    • Retail got old, man.

      A kind interpretation of this is that Marla is simply making an observation but statements like this are so often followed up by either, “Everyone is on their phone too much!” or “Why don’t people talk to each other?” that it’s hard not to think that’s what she means by it.

      If she meant something else, Norm should have had it be more explicit.

  4. Young people sitting around after they’re done shopping doesn’t seem that drastically different from what they​ did before smart phones.

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