Again, sorry for the day off. I was out until after 9 — clear until after 9 — at a journalism awards banquet. Yes, like all but the top j-awards banquets, it was too long. Not as long as the Hoosier State Press Association, thank God, which had something like six or seven circulation categories and enough award classifications that the actual plaque-passing was like my high-school graduation, with its 750-strong senior class. I recall “Pomp & Circumstance” playing and playing and playing.
But Bridge did OK. And the boss bought the drinks.
And I got home too late to blog. There are nights when I think I have flat run out of everything there is to say about everything in the world, and think I should just pull the plug on the whole thing. Usually it’s on nights when I’m tired. So let’s get going, then.
I was not much of a Walmart fan from the very first time I set foot in one, before I knew much about the company at all. They always struck me as overcrowded and aggressively ugly, the sort of place where there’s not even a polite nod toward the idea of seduction in sales, the attractive arrangement of a $6 T-shirt on a mannequin or something. No, it has all the charm of GUM, the Soviet Macy’s: Here is shirt. You buy shirt. Is cheap shirt.
So it’s obvious what the target market is for Walmart’s latest brand extension: Wiring money. Could there be anything more depressing than this?
Lower-income consumers have been a core demographic for Walmart, but in recent quarters those shoppers have turned increasingly to dollar stores.
“Walmart-2-Walmart leverages our existing footprint and the large-scale systems that our company can bring to bear to enable a low-cost service such as this,” said Daniel Eckert, senior vice president of services for Walmart United States.
More than 29 percent of households in the United States did not have a savings account in 2011, and about 10 percent of households did not have a checking account, according to a study sponsored by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. And while alternative financial products give consumers access to services they might otherwise be denied, people who are shut out of the traditional banking system sometimes find themselves paying high fees for transactions as basic as cashing a check.
What a country this has become, when this one demographic bloc can support a chain as enormous as Walmart. Meanwhile, those aforementioned dollar stores are everywhere in Detroit.
Let’s skip to the bloggage:
First, one of mine, a profile of a rising gay public intellectual who actually engages his opponents with respect and moderation. Friend of a friend.
With the start of “Mad Men” comes Tom & Lorenzo’s Mad Style posts. I admit I hadn’t thought of the blue dress/black “Zou Bisou” dress connection. I’m surprised they haven’t pointed out how much Lou Avery, the temporary creative director, resembles Duck Philips, the headhunter who hired him.
It’s Detroit week at Grantland. Personally, I think nostalgia like this is not a healthy thing, but it’s a good story: Saving Tiger Stadium.
Watch some Real Housewives cry: “I never said you were a stripper!”
Have a good weekend, all. I hope the well refills.