You’re the best.

If you’re from around these parts, and are of a (ahem) certain age, you are sure to remember Best Products.

But before I tell you why I needed to write this, I want to tell you what I discovered in researching it. I went to college in Richmond, VA and there was a house on the main strip with these beautiful modern sculptures. I always slowed to see them. Since I didn’t drive a car, but rather a bicycle, that wasn’t hard to do. Anyway, this stuff was amazing and the house was modern and beautiful and a dream to me. I loved that place. It was owned by the Lewis family. Not sure how I knew that, but I did. I didn’t know this was the family that started Best Products.

But I did know that Best Products had the coolest buildings in the world. Or so I thought. You can see the best ones here. They have a sense of humor. And they’re inviting. It’s pretty fun stuff.

Okay, I went off track. Back to the store. Or the story, maybe.

I don’t know why I was thinking about this. Oh wait, I do. I’m reading the new Laura Lippman book (I admit, I love a good mytery/cop book) and one of the characters mentions a catalog store.

It stopped me.

A catalog store? Huh?

OH RIGHT! I remember. We got these catalogs in the mail with luggage and answering machines and jewelry and all kinds of things. You can order on the phone. (No online, of course! There was no online!) Or you could go to the store.

Our Best was on Security Boulevard. It was right near the Bell Store – which was kind of like it but I always sensed it wasn’t as nice. Whatever that means. It seemed like a copy. But maybe it was first.

But at any rate…

We’d go into Best (and isn’t that a good name? Clearly there is none better. It’s best!) and there was one of each thing out. Look in the catalog or on the tag and get the number. Fill out the slip and turn it in. Then, off to the pick-up area where your stuff would come down a conveyor belt from the sky.

Somehow, I found this fascinating. (I can hear you. That’s not nice!)

Anyway, I suppose at this point there is no point to this story except to have shared it. Unless I take this to the next step which is to trace the retail course to where we are now.

But I have work to do. So that’s a post for another time. And I might even use that one on my company research blog!

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3 thoughts on “You’re the best.

  1. I remember Best. And then the updated version, Service Merchandise. You usually could get whatever you need there. I think that’s where I got my old sewing machine.

  2. Oh my goodness…I’d forgotten the funky Best Products building in Houston!

    Funny – I have an absolutely beautiful lapis ring that I bought at Service Merchandise back in, oh, maybe 1980. It’s very exotic looking – doesn’t look at all like it came from a “catalog store”!

    We have something called Argos in the UK which is similar.

    Janet

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