February 16, 2006


What happened to Spencer's Gifts?

I don't hang out in malls much - and I don't recall having been in a Spencer's more than a couple of times, ever, the most recently being probably ten years ago. As I recall, it was a place to buy fairly innocuous gifts, novelties, toys - a place to find a joy buzzer or a

Until the other night. My daughter dragged me into the Spencer's at Rosedale.

Ho Lee Cow. I felt like she's dragged me into the old Maharaja's on West Seventh. The stupidly filthy mixed freely with the gratuitously moronically obscene in a melange that made Hot Topic feel like The Gap. The "Peeing Calvin" stickers actually stood out as the classiest thing in the inventory.

When did Spencer's turn into a one-stop novelty shop for a**holes?

I guess my biggest hope is that it's a really bad market-based decision - that there's not really a market for idiots who want to buy obscene t-shirts and bumper stickers.

I got a bad feeling about this.

Posted by Mitch at February 16, 2006 06:01 AM | TrackBack

Mitch, admit it. You had a Fly United poster on your college dorm wall.
Maybe the problem Spencers has is black lights just aren't that big a deal anymore. That and the general decline in recreational drug use.

Posted by: Kermit at February 16, 2006 08:11 AM

I can't say I've been in a Spencer Gifts in the last 20 or so years. But it was always the one-stop shop for kids to buy tacky and tasteless stuff. And Kermit is right, it was just this side of a head shop when I was a lad.

Posted by: angryclown at February 16, 2006 08:30 AM

Mitch, Spencer's Gifts hasn't changed. You have.

There used to be a clothing store on Lasalle ave in downtown Mpls called March 4th. When I was younger, I played in puck bands and considered myself WAY outside of mainstream. I bought a lot of clothes and crap there. I have a feeling that if March 4th were still around today and I walked in, I would have a really tough time not laughing my a** off at what I used to think was alternative.

By the way Mitch, you said you were in Twin Cities bands?

What ones?

Posted by: Doug at February 16, 2006 08:52 AM

Spencer's has always specialized in tasteless and juvenile, it's just that tasteless and juvenile has changed a lot since you were a kid. Watch much MTV lately? Listen to Eminem? Spencer's still knows their niche.

But I do miss old version. They always had the best selection of posters.

Posted by: nerdbert at February 16, 2006 09:10 AM

Y'all might be right (or as PB would say, "Mitch Is Lying").

I never had much of an impression of the place until the other night.

Wow - all those conservatives ARE right, and our society IS in dire straits!

Posted by: mitch at February 16, 2006 09:24 AM

No, our society will be in dire straits when angry mobs of religious zealots start rioting and fire bombing Spencer's Gifts! Of course that's probably the next step in "Bush's Amerikkka" ;)

Posted by: chriss at February 16, 2006 11:07 AM

There's nothing new under the sun, Mitch. It's hard for most conservatives to resist the temptation to think the young people nowadays are going straight to hell. But I have hope for you. You're an old dude now, but you were once a punk, right?

Put out the match. Walk away from the pile of Beatles' albums.

Posted by: angryclown at February 16, 2006 11:33 AM

I actually loved Spencer Gifts when I was a kid. They used to have some really cool stuff. Its where I got all my posters, too.

I don't think it's gotten worse--just kept par with society as a whole. The things teens are wearing into the store now are what the "sleazy" models were wearing on my posters 20 years ago.

Posted by: Lucky at February 16, 2006 11:50 AM

Hey, here's something to restore your faith in our society: pitchers and catchers, baby!

(No, not the gay cowboy kind.)

Posted by: angryclown at February 16, 2006 01:11 PM

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