Dreaming of a better Peoria… sort of

DSW is coming to Peoria. Next spring. It’s a start. But, really, it isn’t enough.

Just like Peoria lacks convenient flights to anywhere, Peoria lacks decent retail.

Oh, sure there are a couple of malls. But neither calls out to me.

Dicks is the anchor in one of them. Dicks Sporting Goods. I’ve gotten so desperate, I’ve actually browsed there. Even tried on clothes.

The Sears doesn’t even sell Lands End. (Although they do take it back. If you’re lucky enough to find one of the two employees who knows how to do it.)

Macy’s did away with the Origins makeup counter. That was one of the only reasons to shop there. Even the shoe department is pitiful.

I don’t even know where to go look for a decent ski jacket and snow pants for Kaitlyn. (OK, I know of one place but if they don’t have anything, then I’m out of choices.)

And don’t get me started on the complete lack of options when it comes to buying Kaitlyn’s shoes.

Yet, the town supports two Bath and Body Works stores. And about a hundred Steak N Shakes.

Now there is a big, empty spot in one of the malls where the Borders used to be. And that got me to thinking… what would I really like to see go in that spot?

(For lovers of small, unique, local shops and boutiques: forgive me. Those do exist here. I cannot afford them. So, I turn to my list of shopping: favorites from my browser.)

Pottery Barn. With a Pottery Barn Kids section.

I pour over the catalog. I browse the website nearly every day, as if it’s going to change. Oddly, my house is not especially filled with Pottery Barn merchandise. But I like to look. And I really like to see it in person.

Williams Sonoma. Yes, there is a lovely small specialty kitchen store about 30 minutes away. But a big chain that carries stuff I like just 10 minutes from the house? Yes, please. It wouldn’t stop me from taking the cooking classes across town.

The Container Store. Yes, it’s crazy to go in there and spend big bucks on plastic boxes, but I like the idea (if not the practice) of being organized. Have you seen my pantry? I’d totally shop there.

A better Target. Our Target just remodeled to include a grocery section. The produce always looks wilted and they took away from areas where I did shop in order to add to the area in which I won’t shop.

A Sears with a Lands End section.

I dare not even dream of a Nordstrom. Or even a Nordstrom Rack.

I know it’s too much to ask, but a Nespresso store would be fantastic. Mail ordering my coffee disks is ok. Although Nespresso’s delivery time is a bit slow and I always seem to wait until I’ve polished off all my favorite flavors before remembering to reorder. Besides, Nespresso stores smell wonderful, have free coffee samples and just plain make me feel good. And just maybe George Clooney would stop by sometime.

My UPS man would probably be happy if a Ballard Designs opened up here, although I think that’s mail order only. When he delivered my rug and my end table, he complained about how folks who live out in these new neighborhoods order big and heavy stuff. Well, Mr. You-Have-A-Job-Because-I-Order-So-Much-Stuff-Thank-You-Very-Much, we order rugs and furniture online because there’s no where here to buy that stuff. At least, not the stuff I want to buy.

Back when I managed to get to the gym on a regular basis, a woman in the Zumba class asked me where I’d gotten my shoes. I told her I’d ordered them from Zappos. She not only wasn’t interested in following in my online retailing footsteps, she scolded them. “I like to shop local,” she said. Turns out, she owns a small store in town. So I can see her point. It’s a specialty store and one I’d probably frequent if I needed what she sells. (Crafty stuff; I’m so not crafty.) And I’d much prefer to do my shopping in a store than in my slippers at my computer. But, for now, that’s my best option. Look out, UPS guy! I need some new turtlenecks!

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