Wednesday, January 18, 2012

...With The Fishes

I pass a store that specializes in tropical fish every day on my way to work. This in itself wouldn't warrant a mention, but this store is a little unusual. For starters, I have never seen a customer at this store.

Let me explain in a little more depth. This particular tropical fish store is located on the outskirts of town, just a couple of miles from the city limits. It's not exactly what I would term one of the more affluent neighborhoods in the area. I'm not judging, but pointing it out because this doesn't seem like the part of town that would support such a business. Yet, this store has been open for as long as I can remember.

The tropical fish store shares a building with an engine repair shop. You read that correctly. The fish store is in the front, while the rear houses this engine shop. Now, perhaps you have made the leap that both are owned by the same individual and the engine shop supports the tropical fish store. This is not a bad theory, except that I have only seen activity in the engine shop on rare occasions. It is often just as unoccupied as the fish store.

I said I have never seen a customer at the fish store. This is true. However, one of my co-workers did stop there once with her husband to see what they had. She tells me that the selection is sparse and all the merchandise is old and covered in dust. I'm not even sure they have any fish in there, but you would think they almost must. I asked her if the clerk looked surprised to see anyone shopping in there and she agreed that he did.

Basically, what we have is a niche store with little product, in an area that cannot support it financially, which never seems to have customers during its operating hours. However, it stays open. Draw your own conclusions.

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