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Saturday, August 16, 2008

On-Air Advertising

Is Linens 'n Things going out of business everywhere? From the looks of their website my guess would have been that it's just the one on Lake Avenue in Pasadena and another in Glendale. Oh—and one in Racine, Wisconsin.

But it's everywhere . In bankruptcy since May, Linens' n Things is closing 59 stores so far.

Guys have been standing out on Pasadena street corners for months now with those big arrow signs touting the going-out-of-business sale. They flip the sign or wave it, or stand holding it while listening to their iPod. (I was an awful waitress but I think I prefer that to sign-holding.)

I understand there are only a couple more days left in th Pasadena store's life. Not much merchandise left either, but at 95% off how picky are you gonna be?

post updated with bankruptcy information at 11:20 a.m.
post updated with "Surrender Dorothy" by Palm Axis at 5:10 p.m.

23 comments:

altadenahiker said...

I was in the store a few days ago and, unless they're selling shelves (which maybe they are), I didn't see anything to buy. On list of worst gigs ever, I'd say holding a sign while in an animal costume is close to the top.

Jim said...

I would have to go in just because of the sign. I remember when K-Marts closed the majority of the stores around here. I got cheap junk even cheaper.

Palm Axis said...

My best friend's nephew is a sign twirler. He wrote a screenplay about his profession. This led to a radio interview that led to an invite to meet Hef at the Play Boy Mansion.
I on the other hand, was an elf during the Christmas season. I photographed children on Santa's lap (over at the Eagle Rock Mall). This is what I was doing the night John Lennon was shot.

Laurie said...

When I first moved to LA I was offered a gig of holding a sign wearing a chicken suit outide a restaurant on Sunset. I picked temping instead. (Which probably wasn't much better!)

Is Linens n Things in trouble because Bed Bath and Beyond is doing better? I always wondered how those two competed when they were virtually identical. Then again there is Coke and Pepsi.

Palm, your story about where and what you were doing when Lennon was shot could be a screenplay in itself.

Petrea said...

Altadenahiker: Yeah, but then Laurie brings up temping. It must be close.

Jim, that's funny! Always good to see you.

Palm, I know it's not meant to be funny (or is it?) but your story gave me a surreal laugh.

Laurie, I'm going to update the post. I did some further research in Google news and found the Linens 'n Things bankruptcy info.

Susan C said...

I love the looking up perspective, especially since I can imagine jumping off the cantilevered architectural accent into the endless blue sky.

Bernie K. said...

… in a chicken suit.

USelaine said...

I admit, I have purchased most of my bedding from department stores, not small businesses. But the upside is that I have so many sheets and towels, I many never need new ones again!

I love the graphic quality of this image, and the lovely color palette.

USelaine said...

On the job theme, I was a temp for about half a year. But you get more interesting assignments if you can't type fast enough to be useful. I think working the zoning code desk at a planning department was the worst, even if the money was good. That was when I decided to chuck it all and join the Peace Corps. I've been poor ever since, but wouldn't ever go back to zoning.

Miss Havisham said...

Petrea,

Perfect headline for this photo. It brings to mind the modern equivalent of "Surrender Dorothy!" as seen in the sky over of Emerald City one fateful day.

Miss Havisham said...

Also, there are question mark clouds.

Petrea said...

It seemed like a launch pad to me too, Susan C.

But Bernie, chickens can't fly, at least not very far.

usElaine, I could do with a larger collection of linens, myself. And on another subject, I'm an excellent typist, unfortunately.

Miss H; I see Dorothy now. "Okay, okay, I'll buy a pillowcase!"

Katie said...

Like Susan I love the perspective of this photo. Such pretty sky. I've never been in a Linens n Things; guess it's almost too late now. If it's as hot there as it was a few weeks ago, I would melt if I had to stand outside with a sign trying to get people to go buy stuff. I did lots of odd-job temping in my 20s though. I agree with USElaine that if you can't type your jobs are more interesting (but much lower paid), but I took typing class in 9th grade so my job assignments were of the slightly higher paid typing variety. Favorite one-month assignment was at the Pancreas Transplant Registry at the University of Minnesota, typing up info about all the transplants that had happened around the country.

Petrea said...

Pancreas Transplant Registry. Almost sounds like you made it up.

I posted a creative photo interpretation by Palm Axis based on Miss Havisham's brilliant mind, so check it out.

Coltrane_lives said...

To Bernie and Petrea..."As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly." --from one of my favorite WKRP episodes

Linens is going out of business, eh? That's a shame. I always thought this store had a nice variety of household items and decor.

BTW--No flying monkeys PLEASE!!!!

Tash said...

I liked the baby blue sky & the interesting angles of the building as soon as I saw it - and Palm's mod made me laugh.

Tash said...

PS I worked as a "toast girl" - making mega #s of breakfast toasts & getting burned fingers - on weekend mornings at Francisco's restaurant (now IHOP) on Fig & 22nd ave close to 110 fwy enterance (I think it was fwy 11 back then still) the summer of '76 after graduating HS. I think bopping with signs would have been preferable.

Katie said...

Love the Surrender Dorothy! My only acting gig was playing lead monkey in The Wizard of Oz in 6th grade. I had no lines (which was good, since I can't memorize very well), but I got to knock people down and drag them off stage.

USelaine said...

Flying monkeys. The second most scary part.

I got to help dress male models at a bridal fashion show once. I remember helping Rich Hardaway with his cummerbund. That was before his SuperLotto gig.

Louis la Vache said...

"Louis" wouldn't particularly want to be one of those sign twirlers. Not exactly a career path he'd prefer...

Having spent many years in retail, "Louis" knows that Linens and Things has not been a stellar operation. It's no surprise to him that they are closing stores. They were a poor operation to begin with - the turmoil in the housing market precipitated what should have already happened to them. (This does not mean that it makes "Louis" happy to see that they are failing. Conversely, it makes him a bit sad that they didn't correct their operational weaknesses and thereby avoiding what is happening to them now.)

Anonymous said...

Maybe if they'd been more specific. Linens 'n' "Things"—? Like, what? Scorpions? Bay City Roller 45s? Neutrinos? If you're gonna succeed at retail, you have to write a business plan. At some point, an alert board member or advisor is gonna tap the page and ask, "Now, about the other part of your idea …" Whatcha gonna say, Mr. Linens'n? "Oh, geez, we thought we'd try small felt replicas of the Lusitania and go from there" …? Diagnosis: their failure was foreordained.

Petrea said...

I remember that episode, Coltrane. I'm not sure they're going out of business. Bankruptcy doesn't necessarily require that. They're closing many stores, though.

Oh Tash, you're reminding me of my first waitressing job when I was 15. Awful. This is fun, though, hearing everyone's worst job!

Katie! That's an excellent gig. I'm sure you were very good.

Rich Hardaway...?

Interesting, Louis. I hadn't known.

Very good analysis, anon.

USelaine said...

SuperLotto. It was a while back.