As I sit in maybe the largest IKEA outlet in Canada, I have a nice view of the parking lot and I can see change all around. At one end of the parking lot is one of the anchor store, Chapters. It seems like it wasn’t that long ago that Chapters came in and bought up all of the smaller bookstores in the country, putting everything under one banner. We thought books would just disappear and people wouldn’t have access to what they wanted to read. That didn’t happen and book sales are up and Chapters continues to be a thriving hub, (including being an amazing location for date nights).
Michaels, The Arts and Craft Store, did spell the end of local craft shops and you’d be hard-pressed to find a place to buy a glue gun outside of their monopoly. There it sits, offering its wide selection of crafty things to touch up, where we once used to start from scratch. It’s all brought in from China now, ready to be painted or glued together.
At another end, I see Sears Home in the same building that this IKEA used to occupy. You may be aware that the behemoth department store has fallen on hard times and will be closing many of its stores soon, so more changes will have to come in this parking lot in short order.
Then there’s the Globo shoes store at the far end, cut in half of its original store size to make room for Structube, another furniture store that specializes in small spaces. You’ve got the local Bridgehead coffeeshop steps away from the international Starbucks. It’s all in flux. Things coming and going. Businesses eating each other up.
Times change. People’s preferences change. Fortunes come and go. Hanging on to how things are supposed to be does not do us any good, as inevitably, things are going to change. Having a touch of nostalgia for the past and a mild curiosity of how things will go in the future is completely appropriate, however, the most comfortable seat in the house is just observing how things are, perhaps even enjoying a plate of Swedish (vegetarian) meatballs.