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-   -   Most oddly specific retail store (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=822410)

Mrdeals 03-24-2017 10:58 PM

Most oddly specific retail store
 
What was the most oddly specific physical retail location you have seen?

-Today I saw a store called the "Bird Seed Depot" selling nothing but seed and bird houses.

-"Purrrniture" nothing but cat furniture and toys.



What do you guys have?

Colibri 03-24-2017 11:17 PM

I used to go to a store in Midtown Manhattan that sold nothing but seashells.

pabstist 03-24-2017 11:19 PM

"The Leftorium", owned by stupid Ned Flanders. He only sells things for left handed people.

delphica 03-24-2017 11:26 PM

David Letterman used to do a bit about a store that only sold light bulbs, called Just Bulbs, and another store called Just Shades. There is still a Just Bulbs and a Just Shades in NYC, I think they are the same businesses, but not in the same locations that were featured on the show. Every time I pass Just Shades, it's like I hear the entire sketch in my mind.

Dewey Finn 03-24-2017 11:27 PM

That Letterman bit is the first thing I thought of. I think he annoyed people in those stores by asking them if they sold anything else.

Infovore 03-24-2017 11:28 PM

We have one around here that just sells batteries.

We used to have two stores called Purrsnickety and Bow-Wowsers (they were in the same space, with two different signs and entrances) that sold nothing but cat- and dog-related stuff.

running coach 03-24-2017 11:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by delphica (Post 20091609)
David Letterman used to do a bit about a store that only sold light bulbs, called Just Bulbs, and another store called Just Shades. There is still a Just Bulbs and a Just Shades in NYC, I think they are the same businesses, but not in the same locations that were featured on the show. Every time I pass Just Shades, it's like I hear the entire sketch in my mind.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Infovore (Post 20091615)
We have one around here that just sells batteries.

We used to have two stores called Purrsnickety and Bow-Wowsers (they were in the same space, with two different signs and entrances) that sold nothing but cat- and dog-related stuff.

Batteries Plus Bulbs.

Gatopescado 03-24-2017 11:59 PM

Funny story about BatterysPlus:

Drove a friend down there to pick up some obscure projector bulb. While there, he says, "I need a battery for this watch", and takes it off, handing it to the guy behind the counter.

Guy says, "We're not allowed to open these. We're afraid of getting sued if we damage them".

At which point, Guy hands over a Big Fucking Sharp Knife to my buddy, and says, "You open it".

Roderick Femm 03-24-2017 11:59 PM

When I visited the Mall of America, something like 25 years ago, there was a store selling just socks. Not that unusual, I suppose, but in my naiveté at the time I thought it was pretty odd.

There was a store in the Daly City (just south of San Francisco) area, again a few years back, that just sold batteries, everything from those little disc batteries and hearing aid batteries, up to car batteries. They don't seem to be there any more.

Dr. Strangelove 03-25-2017 12:05 AM

It's SPATULA CITY!

MagicEyes 03-25-2017 12:11 AM

We have a store that sells oil and vinegar. I'm sure it's very nice oil and vinegar, but I don't know how they can pay the rent (even for a tiny little store) by selling oil and vinegar.

running coach 03-25-2017 12:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MagicEyes (Post 20091679)
We have a store that sells oil and vinegar. I'm sure it's very nice oil and vinegar, but I don't know how they can pay the rent (even for a tiny little store) by selling oil and vinegar.

Maybe the owners have a more nefarious business concern and the oil and vinegar store is just window dressing.

GuanoLad 03-25-2017 12:37 AM

I always thought the Door Store was oddly narrow, but I guess it isn't as weird as all that. A lot of things need doors, knobs, hinges, or latches.

Shalmanese 03-25-2017 12:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MagicEyes (Post 20091679)
We have a store that sells oil and vinegar. I'm sure it's very nice oil and vinegar, but I don't know how they can pay the rent (even for a tiny little store) by selling oil and vinegar.

I went into that store once and didn't like it at all. The two people who ran it were very unpleasant. One was tart to me and the other was oleaginous.

GuanoLad 03-25-2017 12:46 AM

I also think the phone case stores that clutter up the aisles of shopping malls have to be fronts for something, because there's no way my low-income suburb can sustain all fifteen of the damn things.

Asuka 03-25-2017 01:41 AM

There used to be a nationwide chain that only sold ties called "The Tie Rack" with hundreds of stores mostly located in malls. It had so much cash it was able to get product placement in the Adam Sandler film "Eight Crazy Nights" which is the only reason I know about them. They shuttered their last stores in 2013.

Chimera 03-25-2017 01:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dr. Strangelove (Post 20091674)

Tex & Edna Boil's Organ Emporium

Mangetout 03-25-2017 03:48 AM

Do the specialist shops inside airports count? I've seen some really specific examples of those - one that just sold live lobsters (I think in that case you buy them, they put it in the hold of the plane you are travelling on, and you collect it at the arrivals baggage reclaim at your destination)

RobDog 03-25-2017 04:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MagicEyes (Post 20091679)
We have a store that sells oil and vinegar. I'm sure it's very nice oil and vinegar, but I don't know how they can pay the rent (even for a tiny little store) by selling oil and vinegar.

Well they might sell those in the same store now, but they will inevitably separate.

cochrane 03-25-2017 04:08 AM

I used to drive past a store in Lakewood, CO that sold nothing but T- shirts. They weren't even decorated T-shirts, just plain old white and colored shirts without any kinds of pictures or sayings on them.

Filbert 03-25-2017 05:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GuanoLad (Post 20091703)
I always thought the Door Store was oddly narrow, but I guess it isn't as weird as all that. A lot of things need doors, knobs, hinges, or latches.

We have a local shop that just sells door knobs, latches, hinges and letter plates for doors, but doesn't sell actual doors.

kayaker 03-25-2017 08:22 AM

The local struggling mall (that I still refer to as "the new mall") had a Flag Store open recently. Flags, poles, and flag related accessories. It closed down a few months after it opened.

There's also an Eyebrow Threading Place. One woman and one chair in an otherwise empty store. I actually stopped and stared, waiting for a punchline. I did not get my eyebrows threaded, nor do I know what that means. The signage was an 8x10 piece of paper taped to the window that proclaimed, "Eyebrow Threading".

JohnT 03-25-2017 08:37 AM

I went to a store in Covington, KY that specialized in Scottish Terrier collectables.

3 months later, they shut down and sold their stock, business, etc to a person who lived 2 miles from my home in Atlanta, GA.

RealityChuck 03-25-2017 09:27 AM

Year ago, the local mall had the Tie Shop, but it went under as people stopped wearing them.

There also was a store in downtown Schenectady that sold only coffee. Not as a beverage, but ground coffee and beans. It was near the Planters Peanuts store that sold only peanuts. Both went out of business years ago.

mixdenny 03-25-2017 09:30 AM

Fuse World, although I see it is now called Fuses Unlimited.

Dennis

Chefguy 03-25-2017 09:58 AM

Here in Portland, we have Ingrid, The Rune Woman. I have no idea what she sells; woo, probably. There's also an ionized water store in my neighborhood, where you can get a foot bath treatment. And there are the ubiquitous crystal stores. A new place just popped up down the street called "The Sacred Well". Haven't been in there, but according to their website:

Quote:

. . .proudly serves the spiritual supply needs of Pagans, polytheists, witches, Wiccans, gem & mineral enthusiasts, and metaphysical/new age communities. . .
:rolleyes:

Jackmannii 03-25-2017 12:15 PM

There was a store I visited some years ago in an Atlanta mall (the underground one?) which apparently only sold kites.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mrdeals
-Today I saw a store called the "Bird Seed Depot" selling nothing but seed and bird houses.

A place called Wild Birds Unlimited must be at least modestly successful, as it has franchise outlets. They sell bird seed, suet, birdhouses, feeders, birdbaths and such.

Siam Sam 03-25-2017 12:20 PM

Upcountry in Thailand, there were at least two shops that sold birds and accessories on one hand and bathroom plumbing fixtures such as tubs and toilets on the other.

cwthree 03-25-2017 12:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kayaker (Post 20091984)
I did not get my eyebrows threaded, nor do I know what that means.

It's a hair removal technique.

Eyebrow threading

TheChileanBlob 03-25-2017 02:27 PM

Plastic Bagmart, Marietta, GA.

cochrane 03-25-2017 02:33 PM

I forgot: there's a store here in Tucson that sells maps and flags. Apparently it's thriving, because it's been here for at least 35 years that I can remember.

Annie-Xmas 03-25-2017 02:37 PM

I remember going to The Purple Store.

Yes, all they sell is purple items.

Projammer 03-25-2017 02:56 PM

Condom Sense

Wanna guess what they sell?

silenus 03-25-2017 03:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by running coach (Post 20091691)
Maybe the owners have a more nefarious business concern and the oil and vinegar store is just window dressing.

Alright, you. Out of the pool.

beowulff 03-25-2017 03:14 PM

Luna Truck and Caster

steatopygia 03-25-2017 03:17 PM

There is a small store I drive past frequently called TRI Con Bolt Company. No link as they have no website. It has been there at least 25 years. It is all alone on a nice piece of property with a lake on one side and the only major road around on the other. It is a legitimate business. The one time I went in, the guy there said "What can I do for you?"
I got very happy and said "I need some bolts."

astro 03-25-2017 03:20 PM

On one of Casey Neistat's YouTube videos there was apparently a store in New York not too far from his Studio that sold just shoelaces.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

Chronos 03-25-2017 03:49 PM

We have a battery store near me, too, but they're not limited to just batteries. They also sell cornhole boards.

Quote:

Quoth cochrane:

I forgot: there's a store here in Tucson that sells maps and flags. Apparently it's thriving, because it's been here for at least 35 years that I can remember.
What, not in Flagstaff?

Grrr! 03-25-2017 04:12 PM

Speedometer repair shop. (WTF? Wouldn't it be cheaper to buy a new one?)


And another shop that just sells LEDs.

Projammer 03-25-2017 04:19 PM

This one just came across my FB feed.

Twisted Ranch. A restaurant where everything is made with Ranch dressing. 27 flavors of Ranch dressing..

Sunny Daze 03-25-2017 04:28 PM

Hello Kitty store. Everything in the place related to this.

Ethilrist 03-25-2017 04:35 PM

There was a shop in Sutter Creek, California, that just sold dog collars.

Tim R. Mortiss 03-25-2017 04:37 PM

There's Sunglass Hut.

And a Spice Merchants store near me. Nothing but spices. Smells wonderful.

Chronos 03-25-2017 04:54 PM

Quote:

Quoth Grrr!:

Speedometer repair shop. (WTF? Wouldn't it be cheaper to buy a new one?)
I suspect that their real business is in resetting odometers so a car can be fraudulently sold as having fewer miles on it. Obviously, the car companies take measures to make this more difficult, so a specialized skill set and/or tools are needed to pull it off. That specialized skillset/tools are what the shop is advertising.

panache45 03-25-2017 05:44 PM

A store that sells pest-control products (rat traps, poisons, etc.) and Christian religious supplies (bibles, crucifixes, rosary beads, etc.).

Lord Mondegreen 03-25-2017 07:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pabstist (Post 20091597)
"The Leftorium", owned by stupid Ned Flanders. He only sells things for left handed people.

This isn't just an idea from fiction. In 1979 I visited a store in London called "Anything Left Handed Ltd". I still have a "backwards" ruler I bought there.

And what do you know, I've just Googled it and they are still around: Here's their online site, stating that they have been around since 1967.

Mean Mr. Mustard 03-25-2017 08:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tim R. Mortiss (Post 20092818)
...And a Spice Merchants store near me. Nothing but spices. Smells wonderful.

I go there whenever I don't have thyme.


mmm

Chefguy 03-25-2017 08:22 PM

My all-time favorite store was just outside of River Falls, WI. There was a sign out front that said "Cheese and Taxidermy".

drewder 03-25-2017 08:31 PM

I would suspect that the higher the city's density is the greater chance of finding very specialized stores since there will be enough people close enough to make the store viable. That being said I always thought that the hot sauce store on cannery row in Monterey is pretty specialized.

Ludovic 03-25-2017 08:31 PM

There's an oil and vinegar store in Canandaigua and they've been in business for several years. They sell aged balsamic and spice-infused oils and I think the cheapest pints is around $10. The only times I've been there was during the holiday season but they are always busy then (with around 4 other customers in there.)


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