Warwick,RI 2020. Shoppers hear that Ann&Hope has been beaten by the pandemic and a fire-sale is going on. I went to the parking lot to observe. People dressed as if they should be at work were among those who emerged from the massive building with sheets,quilts and curtains by the armload. This is what the death of a long-standing retail enterprise looks like. It looks a bit like sharks that have smelled blood in the water.
Ann&Hope was the name of a merchant ship that wrecked having run aground in 1804 on Block Island.
Ann was the wife of Nicholas brown. Hope was the wife of Thomas Ives. T
hey had a merchant ship built for their new business, Brown & Ives, and named the ship after their wives.
Years go by and the business grew into a local powerhouse into the namesake of the ship that almost ruined them, but it didn't.
Not until Covid19 finally severed supply chains and forced the employees away for unemployment money greater than their paychecks.
As if the Company, Ann&Hope, hadn't suffered the might of Wal-mart already, which is interesting since the founders of Wal-Mart came to Rhode Island to see the business model of Ann&Hope in an effort to create a national chain of shopping centers based on the very successful model that Ann&Hope had established through a hundred years of savvy practices.
So, Ann and Hope, savagely murdered, are now just memories about to happen, and their buildings throughout Rhode Island will be empty like so many others.
Something that began long before Corona Virus, yet was ended once and for all by restrictions upon small business laid upon us by Government.
Two old ladies lain beaten on the ground, only to be forgotten by new generations.
Conclusion: The American Private Retail Industry has been under attack for years and was just dealt another vicious beating that many would die from. Ann & Hope are just two of the victims. May they rest in peace, and may everyone describe a new place near where " Ann&Hope used to be."
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