The Staples store in the shopping center at Carpenter and Packard is completely gutted (I think it closed after Christmas). Here’s its entrance as of Saturday night: Pretty cool, huh? No idea what it’s going to be yet. I’m sorry to see this Staples location go, but it seemed to have some challenges – an extremely fortified entrance to deter night visitors, not to mention weird hours. At one point last year, they were closing at 7pm weeknights and 5pm Sundays. I often shop at the Kroger here, and sometimes I check out the phone accessory racks at the TJ Maxx next door to Kroger. I hate to sound like a TJ Maxx ad, but they have a much better phone accessory collection than you probably think. Amongst the off-brands that are made for discount stores like iHome and MVMT, you can often find Speck, Incase, and other brands that sell for $30+ at the carrier or manufacturer stores. Well, at most locations you can. At the Carpenter Road store, someone who knows brand names frequently opens the premium brands’ packages, pockets the goods, and leaves the empty boxes in the clearance section further back in the store. (The Westgate TJ Maxx doesn’t seem to have this problem as badly.) Back in the day this shopping center was anchored by beloved, obsolete Detroit area grocery Farmer Jack; and Best, a discount department store chain that, like Service Merchandise, vanished almost immediately after Target and Walmart expanded to the Detroit market. Farmer Jack was in the Staples space, and Best was in the area currently occupied by The Tile Shop, if I recall correctly. Our Best store’s exterior was nothing special by Best standards (this retrospective of their unique commissions, from the architectural firm SITE, is mandatory viewing).