About a year ago, when Americans imagined the economy was rebounding, Orchard Supply Hardware (OSH) on Sepulveda (and in other locations) opened an appliance department where $1200 washing machines and $1500 refrigerators would allegedly be snapped up by those cash rich Van Nuys residents whose homes had lost 50% of their value. Chirpy long haired dudes were hired to push the appliances on hair tinted matrons. It was an experiment in marketing and selling expensive and big-ticket items.
Now the department is closing.
Which is not surprising considering that on any weekday, there are middle-aged men and women, in their prime working years, walking around the aisles of OSH; men and women who should be earning salaries , but instead, spend their day caulking their sinks and fixing their toilet flush mechanisms.
OSH is a good place, a much friendlier and much easier place to shop than the dust filled Home Depot with its armies of illegals climbing the fences. The staff is helpful and the layout is easily navigable.
But no company is an island. OSH cannot sell what people cannot afford to buy in a neighborhood where even a broom is considered a luxury item.
And to paraphrase Lincoln, we are engaged in a great economic civil war, testing whether this nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. And I believe this nation cannot endure, permanently 90% poor and 10% rich.