Why no brick and mortar stores in the mall? December 3, 2015 9:39 PM   Subscribe

This has bothered me every year so I'm just gonna flat out ask: why no brick and mortar stores in the MeFi Mall? This just doesn't make any sense to me. I'm sure many MeFites own stores and would love to offer Christmas discounts to other MeFites in their city. I'd certainly do so at my record shop--I'd also like to support other MeFites who own independent businesses. What's the logic behind excluding those of us with small businesses simply because we do not sell online?
posted by You Should See the Other Guy to Etiquette/Policy at 9:39 PM (39 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

It's more that the Mall is designed as an online shopping thing specifically. We could look into a directory for brick and mortar shops - I'm not sure the local density of Mefites is enough to make it super useful, though. Certainly anyone who was interested could start a listing on a wiki page - that might be a good way to gauge interest.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 9:40 PM on December 3, 2015


Because mefites are notorious shoplifters. :P
posted by Drinky Die at 9:50 PM on December 3, 2015 [39 favorites]


No wait. I'm not a shoplifter, and I would not advocate shoplifting at any mefite's store...unless their last name is Walton.
posted by hal_c_on at 10:19 PM on December 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


We aren't shoplifters, we have cameras.
posted by Kattullus at 3:00 AM on December 4, 2015 [7 favorites]


Even though there's a 0% chance that a mefite has a shop near me, the mere possibility of it is kind of exciting.
posted by mittens at 5:16 AM on December 4, 2015 [5 favorites]


if the record store has a web page, even if you cant buy from it, couldn't it go in the mall? maybe i'm confused, but last time i looked it seemed to be just a bunch o links.
posted by andrewcooke at 5:53 AM on December 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


I would love to shop from a brick and mortar mefite store. All the buckwheat pillows and opinel knives and curated tea and etc. would be awesome!
posted by oceanjesse at 6:07 AM on December 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


If the store doesn't have an online presence its appearance in the mefi mall would not be helpful for the overwhelming majority of the people shopping online.
posted by winna at 6:29 AM on December 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


I would love to see such a list included in future. I do think an online presence should be a prerequisite.
posted by zennie at 6:44 AM on December 4, 2015


If it were, I like r_n's idea of a separate listing for them. Otherwise they would just clutter the list with things that most people can't use, affecting its utility.
posted by winna at 6:58 AM on December 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think this would be great, but I'd want them segregated in some way. As others have said, the vast majority of mefites wouldn't be able to buy from the vast majority of physical stores. Still, it would be nice to be able to browse them for curiosity's sake, and nice to be able to look for stores in my area. It would be fab to find a store or two near me run by mefites.
posted by alms at 7:00 AM on December 4, 2015


How about something with a maps interface (like I think jobs has a maps interface), so people could search for stores near them and also search for stores in places they'll be travelling to?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 7:54 AM on December 4, 2015 [6 favorites]


Even though there's a 0% chance that a mefite has a shop near me, the mere possibility of it is kind of exciting.

It's true. I just saw mittens profile page. Mittens LIVES IN THE SKY!
posted by el io at 8:15 AM on December 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


I know that some MeFites are cagey about listing their precise location, so associating a shop with their Profile page (for example) might be a bad idea. But I, too, would love to have a map that indicated MeFite-owned or -staffed stores!
posted by wenestvedt at 8:22 AM on December 4, 2015


We can definitely think about building some features to support a directory. As restless_nomad mentioned, I think a good first step would be a wiki page. So far we've heard from one mefite with a physical store. It'd be great to get some momentum going to get a sense of who is out there. It feels a bit early to start building things.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:37 AM on December 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think that adding a Physical Storefronts section to the MeFi Mall would be sufficient for the time being.
posted by oceanjesse at 8:42 AM on December 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Mefis with shops should put little Metafilter flag stickers in their windows like gay friendly stores used to do and then those in the know could find their communities. Man, I miss those little rainbow flags.
posted by kanata at 8:43 AM on December 4, 2015 [8 favorites]


I appreciate what pb and restless_nomad are doing; however, if the MeFites with brick and mortar stores set up a (free even) website -- even if they don't do ecommerce -- then they can be listed in the MeFi Mall. Right?

I am all for a map of B&M sites -- and even would want to be listed -- but I guess I don't understand how this is can't be remedied in other ways.

On Edit what oceanjesse said.
posted by terrapin at 9:01 AM on December 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have a yarn shop in Asheville if mittens can drive a little ways. We don't sell online at the moment, but I just put up a little MF flag in our door window (which is getting pretty crowded, between all the little stickers and signs the rainbow flag (still flying), breastfeeding welcome, dog-friendly, buy local, living-wage-certified. Oh, well, who needs windows?
posted by rikschell at 9:05 AM on December 4, 2015 [13 favorites]


I appreciate what pb and restless_nomad are doing; however, if the MeFites with brick and mortar stores set up a (free even) website -- even if they don't do ecommerce -- then they can be listed in the MeFi Mall. Right?

I would think it would be pretty annoying to be shopping at the MeFi mall, so a store you might want to buy from and click it only to find you couldn't shop there.

Also, if I may be the one to tip this from asking for a small pony to asking for a rainbow unicorn....Wouldn't it be awesome if we could browse the brick and mortar stores like walking down the street? So i'm pictureing that each store submits a picture of the building (either a street-view style or a cartoon avatar) and then from any given store you can "walk" north or south, east or west and see a streetscape of each store. It's unlikely there would be two stores at exactly the same longitude or lattitude, so this would work.

I"m thinking of the library cataglogues that let you "browse" the bookshelves by creating a virtual bookshelf based on the call numbers and then you can see your book and also everything shelved near it. Like that.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:09 AM on December 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


> As others have said, the vast majority of mefites wouldn't be able to buy from the vast majority of physical stores.

The vast majority of MeFites can't go to the vast majority of meetups either; so what? I think this is a great idea; probably good to segregate the physical stores from the online ones, but I'd love for MeFite-owned businesses to get exposure here.
posted by languagehat at 9:43 AM on December 4, 2015 [5 favorites]


I was a fan of this idea already, but then I clicked on rickschell's profile and found out their yarn shop has sock monkey windows which is amazing, so now I love this pony. I like the map/subject directory format, but anything easily searchable would work well.
posted by jetlagaddict at 9:44 AM on December 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


Holy moly! I walked right by rikschell's place a few months ago!!! Next time I am in town I will stop in!!!!
posted by mittens at 9:49 AM on December 4, 2015


Sorry, my nerd is showing!
posted by rikschell at 9:53 AM on December 4, 2015


Ha! I walked by rikshell's place too! Last month when I was visiting, the Firefly sock monkey display was pointed out to me as the Asheville-iest thing in Asheville!
posted by neroli at 10:13 AM on December 4, 2015


if the record store has a web page, even if you cant buy from it, couldn't it go in the mall?

My feeling was always "If people could send you some money and you would send them a thing" then you should list your thing in the mall. Otherwise maybe not, but I'd love to see what stores MeFites have anyhow, so I like this general idea.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 10:14 AM on December 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yeah, as a notion I think featuring mefite storefronts as a sort of adjunct to the traditional conception of the MeFi Mall could be nice. I'm not sure exactly how we'd want to do this, and it is sort of a different thing than what the current Mall was designed to do, but we can definitely chew on it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:37 AM on December 4, 2015


I can't buy from a lot of the mefi mall listings already thanks to import duties and whatever. Putting in physical locations would just totally break the whole thing for me and for so many of us. And I have done Christmas shopping from listings in the mefi mall before, so this isn't just some hypothetical.
posted by shelleycat at 10:38 AM on December 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


I do think that having listings on the mefi wiki feels about right (and I would read it and use the listings if that's ever possible). Then people can edit it and add their own listings as is relevant. Making an official on-site listing of things that are only useful to a tiny handful of members doesn't feel right or useful.

These are my feelings anyway.
posted by shelleycat at 10:41 AM on December 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


More generally, starting with the wiki's a good idea just as a way to figure out if we're talking about about two people or twenty and size up the appropriate amount of effort and visibility to aim for.

So someone starting up a page for it and encouraging folks to either directly add themselves or pass along their info to a willing wiki-editing type would probably be the best short term plan, and we can look at it from there.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:45 AM on December 4, 2015


So far we've heard from one mefite with a physical store. It'd be great to get some momentum going to get a sense of who is out there.

We have a saké and beer brewery in north county San Diego. It's early days and we're not doing online ordering yet, but we would love for any local Mefites to stop by for some chitchat and discounted growlers. Booze for the holidays!
posted by moira at 1:38 PM on December 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


> Making an official on-site listing of things that are only useful to a tiny handful of members doesn't feel right or useful.

So do you feel this way about meetups? I confess I don't understand this point of view. If it's not useful to you, don't use it; what's the harm in having it on-site?
posted by languagehat at 5:36 PM on December 4, 2015


So do you feel this way about meetups?

This is just to say that I concur with the line of reasoning shown here, and would like to further add: it is not necessary that something be useful to everyone, as long as it can be useful to a sufficient number. The definition of sufficient number would, I think, be up to the operators of the site (ie., the cabal).
posted by aramaic at 6:52 PM on December 4, 2015


If it's not useful to you, don't use it; what's the harm in having it on-site?

I think the concern is that it not interfere with people who are using the MeFi Mall, in that the mall would be less useful if many of the links were to places that the user could not order from. That seems like a reasonable objection to incorporate B&M-only stores into the mall as if they were equivalent to online stores. I agree with previous commenters that having a section, eventually, for B&M-only stores would be nice.
posted by jaguar at 8:10 PM on December 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't feel this way about meetups and I don't have any logical reason why. Hence feelings rather than firm opinions.

Maybe because there are so many meetups and people add them themselves and because no one is making money from meetups so the drive behind it is different. Whereas I think the mall listings are added by mods so it feels more curated somehow? And also more officially endorsed by Metafilter Inc for each listing. If it becomes a big, widespread directory useful to many in the same way meetups are useful to many then my feelings may probably change. I agree the wiki would be a good place to start at least, then we can see what we're dealing with.
posted by shelleycat at 12:51 AM on December 5, 2015


I think another alternative is maybe for MeFi to invest in a physical MeFi mall, and offer to relocate all MeFites with physical storefronts into the viscinity of the physical MeFi mall. Maybe a Times Square location would be popular? I've heard there's good pastrami in New York City, so that could be another positive.
posted by oceanjesse at 7:15 AM on December 5, 2015 [5 favorites]


Perhaps the physical mall could be connected to a teleporter so that people could travel to it through a link on the website.
posted by winna at 7:50 AM on December 5, 2015 [5 favorites]


Maybe stores could host an Xmas meetup, which would let local Mefites know they exist.
posted by rikschell at 10:13 AM on December 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


My feeling was always "If people could send you some money and you would send them a thing" then you should list your thing in the mall.

Agree with Jessamyn here -- in fact I think brick-and-mortar vs online is getting to be a pretty blurry line. How many businesses are there that sell anything non-perishable and don't have at least some online presence / ability to take remote orders and ship?
posted by neat graffitist at 10:53 AM on December 6, 2015


« Older time to start belling those rocks   |   Goal-setting/accountability group Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments