My mother was in a hospital in Glen Burnie for sepsis last month. During that time I was putting the finishing touches on my four-part DIY video series on how to customize a Barbie doll into a Marvel Comics superhero known as the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (you can view the entire video series right here) and I needed to buy just one more item so I could complete my video series. I drove to Laurel on my way to visit my mother where I discovered that the Safeway that had long been an anchor store at the Laurel Lakes Shopping Center was having a going out of business sale.

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I have to admit that this was a surprise because Safeway had been there since the Laurel Lakes Shopping Center first opened years ago. I’ve gone to that store numerous times in the past and I’ve always seen that place being filled with customers. I decided to take a brief look inside as well as to see whether there was anything worth buying at half price. By that point the grocery store was nearly empty so I didn’t buy anything. Seeing row upon row of empty shelves looked so eerie that I took a few photos.

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The few items that were still available for sale were all located at one end of the store.

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What was even more surreal was hearing the cheerful music over the store’s public address system while walking among the rows of empty shelves. I shot a short video showing this strange cognitive dissonance.

I later looked online to see what was going on with Safeway. This Baltimore Sun article had the best explanation of this situation. The same article said that Safeway’s 76 employees would be relocated to other stores. At least that’s good news for the employees even though I’m sure they’ll have to adjust to working in a new store with new co-workers and all that.

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