My local department store has turned into a labyrinth recently as they remodel and redesign the aisle layout. Instead of simply moving chunks of the store into organized blocks as each section is rebuilt, they have managed to take several single aisles worth of items and put them in five different places. I was trying to find a spatula for my new stir fry wok and they had kitchen utensils in four different places, all several aisles apart. But even with the new floors and the slick redesign, I think the company’s headquarters have overlooked the heating and cooling systems in their stores in favor of aesthetic changes only. Even if I’m in a different city, it seems like all of these stores have black, moldy air vents on the ceilings. Although it’s a common occurrence in stores of every kind, it’s so bad in this particular department store that usually several blocks of ceiling panels are coated in black up to ten feet surrounding each ceiling air vent. It’s absolutely disgusting to walk under these while grocery shopping knowing it’s going into your lungs every second and permeating the items throughout the store as well. I have a close friend with severe asthma and she had to stop shopping at this store entirely after the one closest to our neighborhood got worse following last year’s particularly long rainy season. It doesn’t seem like they have intentions to fix the air systems in their stores and it’s a real shame too. With options increasing all of the time when it comes to grocery and department stores, you have to be competitive and meet minimal expectations for cleanliness and public decency or your business won’t retain repeat customers for long.