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Lifestyle (Footwear)

Lifestyle (Footwear)
Himabindu Chitta /
Those of us who still remember that the old Igloo bakery was demolished to make way for Lifestyle, would also remember the way crowds thronged the latter's footwear section in the initial days. Never mind that they had a less-than-great selection even then; it was the best-presented one in town at the time. (The best collections minus the frills were at the Hollywoods and Metros of Abids.)

Alas, with specialist footwear retailers invading the market, Lifestyle still expects to attract customers with that traditional combination of low variety and high price. The folks who run the superstore seem to think that changing the outlay every few months will convince me, i. e. the dumb customer, that they are upgrading it in all ways. They also hope that I, like them, think that more expensive concealed lighting translates into a better value proposition.

I'll try to be diplomatic - it doesn't. I have to wade through the store all over again to find the footwear section. The old shoes I didn't buy last time would have greeted me from the corner rack of the new footwear section, if I had reached it. Instead, I find myself next to the back entrance, harassed. Just escaping through that exit is so easy. It's unbelievable they retained it in the same place.

As for the footwear section itself, to be honest, it isn't bad. If you have free Lifestyle coupons. Or a lifetime's supply of Lifestyle footwear free. Else why would you leave behind the superior selections at The Loft or Mochi, the lower prices at Max and Shoe Factory, the better service at Inc 5, Metro and Soles to name a few, and come rushing to Lifestyle? In this day and age of increasingly specialized stores for clothing and accessories, Lifestyle would be well-advised to focus on its core competency - apparel.

Call me biased, but it is hard for me to appreciate a store that never has footwear in a size beyond 8. Where do they think they are - China? And I also am slightly befuddled by their intense focus on hideous "party wear" sandals at the expense of stocking a greater variety of comfortable yet stylish daily-wear ones. So by all means, if you wish to wear bright pink high heels (with a shiny golden bow on top) to that special party that's coming up, head for Lifestyle. But if you want a good selection of styles and reasonable prices, look elsewhere.
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