Shop-o-ramaWhen it was built in 1958, Murdale Shopping Center was the largest shopping center in the U.S., and Murdale Woolworth's was one of the 7 Wonders of Jackson County, the king of retail outlets. Which makes me wonder . . . what will today's big corporations morph into? Will Carbondale Wal-Mart be absorbed by a yet larger chain called "Morphy's Law?" Be driven out of business by upstart Dollar General, with two stores in Carbondale already. (Downtown could use one too. Right where the Amtrak Station is now. As I recall reading somewhere, the station was never intended to remain at that location, but across the street. With the new TIF District, maybe an "Intermodal Transportation Center" can be built across the tracks, where Southern Recycling used to be. Why not?)
Dollar General is smaller, like the old "Woolworths" with "5 and dime" prices. Another upstart merchandiser Aldi , has stores the size of "Wal-Mart" in Europe, but only one location in Carbondale.
There's "a mini-Wal-Mart" where Discount Den used to be on South Illinois Ave. called Sell it All? The owners also have a sewing business ("Sew it All"), and do custom embroidery, so it all fits.
The owners have a "Big Lots" mentality, but not as much stuff. Maybe they should call it "Small Lots." Bought a pair of reading glasses for $1! Ladies over the age of 25 should check out the dresses. Christmas stuff, too. And dolls. And there's even something for cigarette smokers. So the next time you're having breakfast or lunch at Harbaugh's, or buying a book at Book World, or eating Japanese or Chinese or visiting the Interfaith Center, stop in at "Sell it All." Parking behind the building. You'll find it.
But you won't find Campus Comics, though, because it has moved faster than a speeding bullet to the strip of shops on Main St. East, where Mr. Mike's Music, and Plaza Records welcome your business.
Meanwhile, Tom North at Book World is solid--the best used book store in Southern Illinois--with no plans to move or close.