BlathrWayne Lorentz

Showing blathrs with the tag “Shopping.”

Fluff and fold

Sunday, November 6th, 2022 Alive 18,821 days

The header from the Potter Country Storeʼs web site

While I appreciate the Potter Country Store being creative with its web site, I donʼt think a laundry basket is quite the right icon for a virtual shopping cart.

Unless they use laundry baskets to do their shopping in Schulenburg, Texas. You never know. People in Pennsylvania call shopping carts “buggies.”

❖ ❖ ❖

Mass hysteria

Monday, October 10th, 2022 Alive 18,794 days

A series of e-mails from Walgreens that I ignored until someone was at my front door

I spend too much time pointing out the shortcomings of modern technology. Thereʼs a reason that Tech and Fail are among my most populated blathr tags.

Today, however, Iʼd like to point out what, on the surface, looks like a tech success story. But at a deeper level is the success of a traditional brick-and-mortar retailer to adapt to changes in society in order to — literally — deliver better than a tech company did.

It started a couple of days ago, when I ordered something medical from Amazon.com. In general, I donʼt buy anything that goes on or in a living being from Amazon. Between counterfeits, people selling used items as new, and a constantly-growing list of other reasons, relying on Amazon just isnʼt safe anymore. When your company canʼt even prevent selling bogus copies of books, you have a problem.

In this case, however, I ordered from Amazon because the medical thing I needed was not available from any of the CVS or Walgreens stores that I can reach, and purchasing from Walmart meant waiting two to three weeks for delivery. Walmart used to be safer than Amazon, but has recently decided to trod the same road to unreliability by embracing unknown, unverified, and dubious independent sellers.

What Amazon delivered was clearly not suitable. Instead of being in branded packaging, the item was in a Zip-Loc bag. Legitimate medical items arenʼt packaged in consumer baggies. Legitimate medical items are also not labeled by hand in ball-point pen. And they also donʼt spill their contents during shipping, unless they are seriously mishandled. The box that the item arrived in was in fine shape, and the medical item sufficiently padded.

Exasperated, I went to the CVS web site to see if perhaps the item was back in stock my local store. The CVS web site would not function. So I tried Walgreens. Except, this time instead of specifying a store that I can get to easily by train, I let the Walgreens web site pick one. And it did a splendid job.

The item I needed was in stock at a Walgreens in an area I would never think to travel to. So I put two in my cart, selected “Same day delivery” and went back to reading my New York Times.

Before I could finish the International section, there was a guy dropping a paper bag on my doorstep.

I checked my e-mail and found that the time from when I placed my order online until Walgreens notified me that my order was ready to be delivered was four minutes. Four minutes. It was picked up minutes after that, and delivered to me straight away.

The total time from when I placed the order to when I received my Walgreens order was 22 minutes. For an item that I couldn't get at a drug store near me, and that Amazon sent a counterfeit of.

Yes, I had to pay $3.99 for the delivery. But the item was a dollar cheaper at Walgreens than at Amazon, and I ordered two of them. So the cost difference was $1.99. More importantly — I got what I paid for.

Walgreens is better than Amazon. Man bites dog. The sky is green. Everything the tech bubble has been preaching about the death of brick-and-mortar is wrong.

❖ ❖ ❖

See if they have any common sense

Friday, October 7th, 2022 Alive 18,791 days

The Walmart app's availability filter

The Walmart app has a filter labeled ”Show available items only.” Seriously? Why would I want a store to show me things that it doesnʼt have?

Who goes to a store, or looks at a storeʼs app and thinks to themselves, “I wonder if they donʼt have this?” “Hey, Walmart, show me all the things that you canʼt sell."

What kind of things are on Walmartʼs list of things it doesnʼt have. Fabergé eggs? The Loch Ness Monster? Maybe the Popeʼs mitre?

Walmart is far from the only store guilty of this. Amazon is among the worst offenders. Target and Walgreens, too.

How does showing things you donʼt have benefit a customer?

❖ ❖ ❖

Paper or plastic?

Monday, May 23rd, 2022 Alive 18,654 days

The inside of a plastic bag

I put my camera in a plastic shopping bag. As I was wandering around, the camera took some pictures. So now I know what my stuff sees when Iʼm carrying it home.

❖ ❖ ❖

What did you do now?

Monday, April 5th, 2021 Alive 18,241 days

An unpleasant message from Harrods

Harrods thinks Iʼm suspicious. I guess Iʼll spend my money over at Liberty, instead.

❖ ❖ ❖

How about some free shipping next time?

Saturday, March 27th, 2021 Alive 18,232 days

A stack of Girl Scout cookies

No Girl Scouts knocked on my door this year. So, thank you, random Girl Scout troop in Utah I found online.

❖ ❖ ❖

Tuesday, December 17th, 2019 Alive 17,766 days

One of Darcieʼs friends in Kowloon has started stocking up on toilet paper. She says that everyone is stockpiling supplies, especially paper goods, because of the flu thatʼs spreading on the mainland.

My spidey sense tells me this is going to be something big; especially if people in Hong Kong are that worried about it. Iʼm going to start picking up extra supplies, just in case. Paper goods, I guess. But also canned and boxed foods. Itʼs not like I donʼt have the room for it; and if nothing bad happens, Iʼll just save it all for the next earthquake, flash flood, or other natural disaster.

❖ ❖ ❖

You donʼt want to know

Monday, September 23rd, 2019 Alive 17,681 days

The Smithʼs deli case

Only one item in the deli case is labeled “Made in the USA.” So, where are the others made, and why can't know?

❖ ❖ ❖

Wednesday, February 6th, 2019 Alive 17,452 days

Is it wrong that when I order something online, I choose the complimentary gift wrapping and include a nice note to myself?

❖ ❖ ❖

Off Target

Saturday, February 2nd, 2019 Alive 17,448 days

I mostly stopped shopping at Target a while ago because it hardly ever has anything in stock.

I tried again today. No change.

It canʼt even stock the most basic of basics: eggs, sugar, flour, and cooking oil.

❖ ❖ ❖

Wait till they get to Kohlʼs

Saturday, February 2nd, 2019 Alive 17,448 days

I think I’ve figured out why three-year-olds in Target shriek like it’s the worst thing thatʼs ever happen to them.

It’s because they’re three years old, and going to Target probably is the worst thing that’s ever happened to them so far.

❖ ❖ ❖

Sunday, January 20th, 2019 Alive 17,435 days

Iʼve noticed an increase in empty shelves and lack of product choices at Target, Safeway, and Kroger stores over the last six months.

Itʼs starting to look a little Soviet out there.

❖ ❖ ❖

Data doesnʼt lie

Sunday, January 20th, 2019 Alive 17,435 days

Today I learned that Target doesnʼt carry silver polish.

I guess Target thinks itʼs unlikely its shoppers would own silver.

❖ ❖ ❖