Tag: retailers

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Microsoft, Copilot This!

Yesterday, I dropped by Best Buy for a quick looksee. My local store, in San Diego’s Mission Valley district, is undergoing changes that started with remodeling last year—or, gasp, was it 2022? Oh, how we lose track of time. Regardless, a dramatic change greeted me.

What can best be described as an Apple mini-store occupies some of the space once dominated by Microsoft, Surface devices, and OEM laptops. The newer setup is all about digital lifestyle, with all-Apple devices gathered together in one area. If there was space being made for Windows Copilot+ PCs packing Qualcomm Snapdragon Elite and Plus processors, I couldn’t find it. But nobody could miss all that fruit-logo fare.

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What Happened Here?

My wife and I walked around Mission Valley Mall—no longer a Westfield property—today. More stores are local small businesses, although some big brands are present—like Target.

The big surprise: The apparently permanently closed Temple Custom Jewelers and the mysterious signs you see in the Featured Image and companion. I knew that the establishment was black-owned but have no idea what were the circumstances leading to the signs. Googling gave no answers, tonight.

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He Delivers

If the Featured Image confuses you, don’t despair. Explanation is necessary, but also see if you can capture the gist of the illusion: That little Big Boy is delivering a juicy burger to a parked car.

This technically is a failed photo, but one I refused to abandon. On March 20, 2024, I walked by a closed barber shop on Park Blvd in San Diego neighborhood Hillcrest. Big Boy, and a Magic 8 Ball next to him, could be seen inside. That restaurant symbol is iconic; I pulled out Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra for two quick shots.

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You Can’t…

Irony is sometimes what you make it—or not. You decide, regarding my explanation about the Featured Image. Yesterday, I walked by the Sun Bum display inside Ralph’s and gaped. Hillcrest is one of San Diego’s homeless hangouts, and the street folk have, ah, sticky fingers. Yes, thievery.

Local street sleepers are blamed. Meaning: The supermarket doesn’t trust the bum, which is why so many items for sale are in locked displays. Buying batteries? Ask a clerk. Personal hygiene products? You will need assistance getting access to some of those, too. I could go on, but you get the point—right?

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Shattered Showroom

This Wednesday evening is just warm enough for walking, which was my activity a little earlier. As I write, the outdoors air temperature is a comfortable-enough 12 degrees Celsius (54 Fahrenheit), such that light hoody was warm-wear suitable.

I set out to shoot Christmas decorations and nabbed a few. But the Featured Image takes the night. Walking westward along El Cajon towards Park Blvd, in my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights, I came upon a gaping hole in the showroom glass of Lusti Motors.

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Ode to Chromebook

I scouted Best Buy today, wanting to see just how humungous is Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra. Unfortunately, the slab was strapped down such that handling was impossible—so I couldn’t assess size considerations that matter, like balance in the hands. Do anti-theft measures really need to be so punitive to purchasing?

On the way to the considerably reduced Samsung section (oh, it was grand before the recent store redesign), I passed the Chromebooks, stopping to awe and to gape at them. Not long ago, one might find as many as a half-dozen of the laptops crammed onto a single, tiny table. Wow, three! I counted 17 Chromebooks, all spaciously placed, too. Meaning: There’s room for more, and I don’t doubt they’re coming. The retailer’s website lists 97 items, not all of them discrete SKUs; some are bundles with extras like mesh routers or Pixel Buds.

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For the Love of Pumpkins

The start of November ends the obsession of carving pumpkins for Halloween and begins pie prepping for Thanksgiving. My local Trader Joe’s—at The Hub Plaza in San Diego neighborhood Hillcrest—is all-holiday ready.

Bored, while waiting for my wife as she shopped inside the grocery, I stooped down with Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and captured the Featured Image. Vitals: f/2.2, ISO 50, 1/2900 sec, 13mm (film equivalent); 11:18 a.m., Oct. 27, 2023.

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They All Look the Same to Me

Could Ralphs supermarket make coffee shopping any more confusing? That’s the question I ask regarding the Featured Image, taken today while trying to choose from the selection of on-sale house brands.

Notice that all are “medium roast” but somehow distinct. Supreme Blend is rich and pure, which supposedly differs from Premium that is rich and balanced. Well, both are rich but is balanced therefore not as pure?

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I’ve Heard of Christmas in July, But August?

Earlier in the month, I was surely surprised to see Christmas decor and paraphernalia for sale at my local Costco. The warehouse bustled with shoppers—so many that no photo opportunity presented. But the place was quite desolate when I returned tonight.

We aren’t even to Labor Day yet, and gingerbread houses, Grinches, lighted fake trees, nutcrackers, and wrapping paper and ribbon adorn aisles near the front of the store? What about Halloween? Back to school? Sure something’s there, but wouldn’t there be more timely goods if not for Santa’s shop.

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Got Cash? Go Elsewhere!

Marking a trendy trend among the trendy artisan set, Communal Coffee in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood won’t accept your money for payment. Your credit or debit card is legal tender, even Apple Pay, but keep bills or coins in pocket, purse, or wallet.

The privilege of digital currency comes with a perk—and one some of you won’t want: The tip nag screen that appears during the purchase process. Oh, don’t feel guilt or pressure, with the glaring eyes of the barista bearing down on you with expectation of 20-percent or more gratuity to top off that swank latte with almond milk.

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Not a Good Sign

I picked poor time to go to Trader Joe’s for organic whole milk—as you can see from the Featured Image, which comes from Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. Vitals: f/1.7, ISO 16, 1/160 sec, 23mm (film equivalent); 4:54 p.m. PDT, yesterday.

Meanwhile, I prepare for a different outage calamity. Today, my webhost sent the dreaded, but expected, email that this site will, ah, migrate with 24 hours. I have no choice about the matter, and no amount of assurances about safe, seamless, and sure migration instills me with confidence that catastrophe isn’t imminent.

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Is Theft Really This Bad?

Welcome to Target in San Diego’s Mission Valley, where toothpaste is kept under lock and key. Apparently, the tubes are a high-theft item, right up there with body lotion and shaving cream. No problem, flat-screen televisions are grab and carry, and maybe an employee will notice—or maybe not. Why let loose the big-ticket item and secure the smaller one? That’s a good question.

One sales associate told me: During the time of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19  consumer and commercial restrictions, the retailer had trouble stocking some personal care items, presumably because of ongoing supply-chain problems. But the bigger culprit turned out to be shoplifters—something that locked up stock quickly made clear.