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Everything You Can Do in Stores Besides Shop

You can teach an old store new tricks.

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Not sure if you’ve heard the latest scuttlebutt, but stores are drowning. The retail apocalypse is coming, but maybe just for the bad stores, or maybe it’s just the stores in New York City, or maybe it’s just the suburban stores.

I have a hunch that it’s really just the store stores. You know the type, the ones your mom and dad tell harrowing tales about: Back in my day, I had to endure Auntie Anne’s samples and bad food court pizza before I could get a new outfit. Now, stores are barely stores; they’re salons and gyms and skate parks with a side of clothes you can buy, should you be so inclined.

“Come in,” a store with a coffee counter says casually while leaning up cooly against a wall of succulents. “Just grab a cuppa and if you see something you like, hey, that’s alright.” In my fantasy, the store then flicks the cigarette it was smoking, gets on a motorcycle, and falls 100 feet into the ride. Because stores don’t know what they’re doing and they’ll do anything to get you in the door. Here’s a brief list of things you can do at a store in 2017 besides purchase clothes.

Cartoon of man getting hair cut in store

Get a haircut. A store is now a one-stop shop for getting rid of the old, not-as-good you.

Drink coffee. Get customers in the door by offering them $3 cups of hot beverages and hope they’ll turn around and spend $300 on a sweater.

Admire art. There are a million galleries in New York City, but I get all my culture from the Adidas store on Houston Street. (That’s pronounced How-ston, btw!!)

Eat breakfast. $5 for cereal served in a shoe box? Say no more, fam.

Enter another dimension. The chances we are living in a simulation: high. The chances we’re living in a reality that started as an in-store VR experience but went on for so long we forgot it was fake and now our bodies live on in a pod at the Toms store while our consciousnesses floats around the ether: less high, but probs still p high, tbh.

Cartoon of man shopping next to basketball game

Exercise. You’re not feeling insecure about trying on clothes, right? Get on this treadmill and let’s crank it up as high as we can. That’s not too fast for you, right?

Shine your sneakers. It’s like those old-timey shoe shine bars, but for the teens! It’s the store equivalent of the How do you do, fellow kids? meme.

Take a city tour. Yes, hello, I’d like to be anywhere but this retail store because I can buy anything I want, whenever I want, from Amazon dot com, thanks.

Sit down for a nice meal. Our specials tonight: a seafood medley, gorgeous pan-seared lamb with a side of pearl couscous, and omg did we mention sweaters are 20 percent off???

Do an ollie. Nothing like practicing a sport that is all about railing against the establishment while partaking in consumerism. Rock on, dudes