Those that run know it takes a lot of training to qualify to run in the Boston Marathon. My friend and fellow Oracle Retail employee Amy Gearing worked hard to get there, so it was disappointing to hear the race was stopped when she hit the 26 mile point. That's 0.2 miles away from the finish. Looking at the bigger picture, I'm just glad she wasn't injured. Had the timing been different, things could have been much worse. I feel awful for those that weren't so lucky.
But rather than dwell on the sadness, let's lighten things up a bit. The article J.C. Penney's Real Problem: The Shrinking Middle Class talks about the hourglass economy. That's where the upper and lower economic classes grow at the expense of the middle, which is of course the target group for JCP. When I saw the video posted below, I thought Kmart hit the bulls-eye. Enjoy!
As you may have learned from TV commercials, retailers like Walmart, Toys-R-Us, and Kmart are offering layaway programs this holiday season. The programs are welcomed by families living paycheck to paycheck that might not have the cash on hand to take advantage of great deals. They can lock in a good price and pay the amount off over weeks without having to worry about stores selling out of hot items and disappointing the kids.
While this has been great news for many, something even better is happening across America. In Grand Rapids, Michigan a woman entered a Kmart and asked to see a list of layaway accounts so she should could pay a few off. At first the associate thought the lady wanted to take the items, but that was not the case. She chose three accounts that each included kid's toys and paid them down to a $10 balance.
"They said that someone had paid $180 on my layaway and there was
only $10 left," one of the beneficiaries says of being told about the
mystery woman's gift. "I thought it was a joke...I thank her. It's the best gift that I ever received, and it's the
gift of believing in people... And believing that there's good out
there, 'cause you don't always see that."
On the receipt the Secret Santa wrote, "Happy Holiday from a friend."
Once a local TV station reported the deed, more such acts of kindness have been occurring across the country. Its tempting for Kmart to take advantage of the situation to boost its bottom line, but it claims it will not. “The beauty of this is that it's organic and coming from the customers
and not from us,” said Salima Yala, the retailer's division vice
president for layaway. “It's being driven by outside the company. It's
just people to people.”