Amazon gets a lot of attention in the retail world these days, and it deserves it. The company has competitors sweating over its ability to dominate the e-commerce space and also dive into physical retail worlds with order-ahead, pay-ahead and fast delivery.
But even smaller retailers are getting the hang of this sort of customer service, and one such example will unfold at 101 E. Main St. in St. Charles when Gordy's Quick Mart convenience store opens there sometime this fall.
At first blush, it might not seem like a perfect fit next to the bustling Arcada Theatre. But when hearing more about what Gordy's plans to deliver -- literally -- to the downtown retail scene, this should be a welcome addition.
The store will do all of the things Amazon has recently initiated with ordering ahead, picking up at the store or having goods delivered.
This sort of interaction will take place for walk-ins, those calling in orders, or those using a mobile app.
It's too early for those setting up Gordy's to provide more specifics, but Teri Ranallo, who along with her husband is helping with the construction and other tasks in preparing Gordy's for the local family that will operate it, said the store will have all of the items, plus some, that one would expect at a full-service convenient mart.
Ranallo could not disclose the name of the family operating the store at this time, as a pecking order of who will do what was still in the works. She'll have a lot more to share by October, she said.
But she did say this will be an "upscale store" that will definitely fit in with what people in St. Charles will want to see in their downtown.
"St. Charles has a great feel and nice character," she added. "A store like this is needed in that area.
"And what's not to love about St. Charles?" Ranallo asked. "From the nearby residential to the festivals that take place in the community, it's just a great city. And this store will work hand-in-hand with the community."
While plenty of folks will opt for the tradition of walking into the store to purchase items, something tells me Gordy's is going to resonate with many residents who can't get around as easily as in the past, or don't have time to run to the store.
Those folks can simply call in or use a mobile app for the delivery of items they might need right away.
Minimal car smarts:
OK, here's a confession. I'll be at the Concours d'Elegance car show along Third Street in Geneva, because we always go. But I don't particularly know much about what I am looking at.
My wife, on the other hand, knows car makes, years and models amazingly well. I know the colors of cars. Beyond that, I'm sort of guessing at what I might be looking at.
But I remember my father's 1957 DeSoto, so it's not like I've never been exposed to vintage automobiles. At the time, I knew this: It was black. And that's about it. To this day, that remains my level of competency about automobiles.
Still, I like looking at older cars because they are the kind you might see in some movies. I also appreciate the passion and time commitment it must take to show your prized car at shows like this.
And I like the music being piped through the streets during this event, as it too takes you back to long gone eras.
We now see that a sign at the former Charleston on the River restaurant says that the new eatery to open at that location in Fox Island Square in St. Charles will be called Eden on the River.
It will feature Mediterranean style food, which essentially means it is pretty good for you because of the heavy emphasis on olives, grapes and seafood.
We don't know what the Eden menu will look like just yet, but we know we don't have a lot of options along this line in the area. So, let's hope it can resonate with area diners.
The Aldi shuffle:
Aldi shoppers have to be glad that the renovation at some Aldi stores in the Tri-Cities area is completed or nearing completion.
St. Charles had its reopening last week, and folks who shop in Batavia are anxious for that one to be completed. But that store will be closed Sept. 5 and will reopen in mid-October.
It will have loyal shoppers going to St. Charles or the east side of Geneva in the meantime.
As for the construction at the Batavia site, it seems that Hobby Lobby and a few other retailers in that particular strip would be happy to see work at Aldi completed as well.
It hasn't been particularly fun trying to drive into that location at the entrance near Aldi. A lot of people and a lot of construction workers and equipment were converging onto the same fairly small space.