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199 articles

Drive-thru pharmacy: a tactic to prevent merchandise shrinkage…by shrinking?

From soup to nuts, pharmaceuticals are facing no end of scrutiny these days.  Whether it’s based on their ability to dodge regulatory oversight, the tendency for pharma developers to purchase political influence (these first two factors obviously go hand-in-hand), their correlation to various widespread drug dependencies, or their often indirect but undeniable role in organized

Vintage retail video: is Kmart in 1999 better than anything today?

After inadvertently stumbling across some vintage footage of shopping culture from yesteryear, I couldn’t help but ask myself: Is it reasonable, at this point, to compare the revolution in how we consume goods with the old cliché of a boiling frog?  How much longer before we the frogs feel the temperature climbing?  Using any vintage

Vending machines at airports: why is everything they sell so weird?

I can’t claim to have ever worked a job or lived a life where I can rightfully belong to frequent flyer clubs, even though I have long been a member of several.  In a typical year, I fly about once every two months—work trips included.  So perhaps I’m just too wet behind the ears when

Brand refresh: Barnes & Noble goes on a tear. No books destroyed in the process.

A quick look at the photo above and it should be obvious that something’s afoot at this particular location of Barnes and Noble.  Incidentally, I only heavily scrutinized a Barnes and Noble once before, also in Maryland, when I noticed a repositioning of merchandise within the interior just a few months ago.  This time, the

Bel Air and phantom storefronts: hiding the vacancy with little gems.

First-time visitors to the town of Bel Air, Maryland aren’t likely to be surprised by what they see—at this point, a well-kept small-town main street isn’t exactly a rarity—but chances are it’ll still charm them.  After all, Bel Air is a distant suburb of Baltimore – Charm City.  It’s the seat of government for Harford

Towamencin Shopping Village: a strip mall, all dressed up for a date, but not a single suitor. (MONTAGE)

I’ve featured more derelict malls and shopping centers than the average reader can shake a selfie stick at.  (An apt reference, since the oldest chroniclers of struggling retail—the sites DeadMalls.com and LabelScar.com—haven’t received updates since the popularization of the selfie stick.  But they were great sites when I first started blogging!)  As far as depressed

Excess parking in strip malls: is it necessary to build out enough space for Black Friday?

Urban planning, like most disciplines, endures its fair share of fads and passing fancies, many of which the advocates manage to elevate to temporary orthodoxy.  And if “temporary orthodoxy” seems like an oxymoron, it shouldn’t require a great deal of introspection to realize that many orthodoxies remain doctrinaire for about a decade.  And then they

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