The headlines lately are full of the demise of brick and mortar retailers. I can give some of them a few hints on why people just turn to ordering online. (More)

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break.

I decided we needed a baby food mill for my 8 month old granddaughter. We had one when my sons, now 37 and 40, were babies and toddlers. You can just take whatever the rest of the family is eating and manually grind up a kid’s portion. It is easy and much less expensive than prepared baby food. If you spice your food a lot, you just take some out for baby before hitting the Sriracha sauce.

I looked at Target on line and a nearby store had four Munchkin Baby Food Mills in stock. They were listed at $14.99. When I went to the store there were none. I stopped at the misnamed guest services desk to inquire and showed her my phone.

She said, “Well we must have sold out.”

I asked her to check the inventory to see if any other stores actually had them in stock.

She looked up and told me, “There are none in stock anywhere because we sent them all to surplus.”

She offered no comment about having sold all four in the first 30 minutes of the store being opened. She didn’t offer any apology for the online error.

Target did have two electric models. One for $250 and another for $90. I suppose if one had triplets or quadruplets that might be handy. For a single baby the manual grinder is portable and can go to restaurants or grandparents easily.

The purchased baby food comes in little foil packets now and they are color coded. White has cauliflower and pears. Green has peas, spinach and avocado. Orange has carrots, sweet potato and mango. I tasted them and they are really strange. They’re awful and I am a fairly adventurous eater. They are a dollar a packet and the instructions say to toss them after 24 hours. It’s a racket and how any kid eating those combinations would love good food is beyond me.

I found Munchkin Baby Food Mill online and ordered it. This is but one small example of why shoppers are abandoning retail stores. It is also why the recycling bins are overflowing with cardboard.

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