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robertogreco : remakes   3

n+1: El Paso
"El Paso was clean and suburban and boring, while over in Juarez, things were grimy and noisy and wonderful. The streets teemed. There were Indians in rainbow skirts, and Mennonite wives in bonnets speaking a curious German, selling homemade cheese produced on their nearby farms. Finches in wooden cages told your fortune for a peso. Native men beckoned in broken English to tourist men, something about women and shows and donkeys [...]

Because of its proximity to Juarez, thousands of Mexicans shopped near the placita every day, including Sunday. Little stores blanketed its periphery. They sold things monied people have no interest in: tube socks from China, bras from China, fake Nikes from who knows where, push-up-butt panties from China, and second-hand clothing for 50 cents a pound (including, if you plowed deep through the piles, Diane Von Furstenberg, Adrienne Vittadini and other gently used designer items from the Goodwills of New York, making a final stop before continuing in bales to the Third World) [...]

young, self-styled progressives ran their own campaigns, and soon they were heading the local government. They were a new breed who had gone to great colleges and universities out of town. The sheepskins of El Paso’s elite formerly came from the Texas College of Mines, Southern Methodist University, and Baylor. The upstarts sported diplomas from Princeton, NYU, Stanford, Emory, Columbia. They’d absorbed the rhetoric of immigration and rights—as well as a painful understanding of how the Reagan era had withdrawn federal money from the cities of America, leaving them as desperate and pathetic as the women scrubbing windows with crumpled newspapers, the illegal lime sellers, the freight-train amputees on the international bridge.

Back in their new elected jobs on the border, these young people came to understand what almost every politician in the nation knew: that to get anything done, they would need to placate big business.

The big business community in El Paso was developing its own new breed. Instead of stashing art collections in their houses, they were donating money to museums to purchase paintings for the public to enjoy. They were forming economic-development think tanks that stressed that public corruption discouraged corporate investment; corruption should be rooted from El Paso and punished."
elpaso  remakes  texas  2013  borders  us  mexico  border  juarez  cities  via:Taryn  juárez  ciudadjuárez 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Ron Johnson on the Progress of His J.C. Penney Remake - Businessweek
"If you change the interface, you can dramatically change the entire experience of the product…What we call that is the street, and you’re standing in the middle of it…

“Let’s not look at the paper. Where is the best place to buy a pair of jeans? …Let's … go there right now.” …

Our average store will have almost a third of a mile of streets when it’s done. There’ll be different activities along the street throughout the store. …

We view this as a startup. Like any startup, the question is how big will you be when you get your idea fully played out? At the end of this year, we’ll kind of find out how big our startup is. It will be less than it was the year before because we’re going through this process of retraining our customer. We knew we would go backwards, but once we get to next year, we think we start to propel forward. We’ve just got to get to the other side…

You know, we’re here to put a bear hug around the middle class, treat that customer with respect."

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departmentstores  remakes  clothing  experience  retail  redesign  tcsnmy  startups  ronjohnson  jcpenney  2012 
september 2012 by robertogreco

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