Here at the Admiral’s Club, read the paper on the train here … the front page article on what American retailers can learn from British retailers (subscription required) is very interesting. It only obliquely refers to one challenge facing American department stores, particularly in large cities — lots of people, women especially, can buy similar items and get substantially better customer service and style advice in boutiques. Personally, I only infrequently buy much other than basics at either department stores or at chain stores, but I do most of my interesting shopping at one-off boutiques. Frequently these boutiques have the same designers and even the same items as in department stores. My experience of British shopping is that it’s much more dominated by chain stores and department stores, even in outlying towns.
Also, the Dorothy Rabinowitz article on her interview with Kelsey Grammer is absolutely charming. I can’t get the right-hand button to work on this mouse, but it’s a lovely article. There’s been a lot of talk lately about how wonderful a writer she is, which I enthusiastically second. I’ve always loved the spirit she brings to her subjects.
OK, now I’m leaving!
I’m off later this morning to a Liberty Fund conference on the works of Armen Alchian. Posting as possible. But heck, I’ll be in Santa Monica, right near the beach. Nothing personal, but …
Here’s an interesting story about Netflix, complete with an inane quote from “choice paralyzes us” Barry Schwartz.
I love Netflix. What Schwartz and the other choice nannies in the world fail to appreciate is that having this choice, while increasing my options, makes my life so much more relaxed and my entertainment options so much more interesting that it outweighs the challenges of the meta-choice. For example, I’ve kvetched for the past decade that no video store near me ever has Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?. Now it’s in my Netflix queue. It’s been in my Netflix queue since the day I signed up. It’s still in my Netflix queue, because it’s the kind of movie you have to be in the mood to watch.
Right now we’ve got out 28 Days Later and Bend It Like Beckham. I’ll be watching The Hours later today on the plane, because my husband doesn’t care to see it. And when I went to Mexico last week, I watched Apartment Zero (which I really enjoyed, both for the macabre psychology and for a yummy young Colin Firth).
The flexibility this affords me is so worth the meta analysis.
Thanks to Tyler Cowen for the story link.