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!