At this moment, I’m waiting for a new desk from the Container Store. I tried to buy it at the end of May. I’m told that it may arrive at the end of July.

I mention this because the Container Store, a long-time Dallas institution that was one of the last examples of how to do things the right way in the retail business, was sold yesterday. The buyer, a Los Angeles private equity firm, is supposed to keep things exactly as they are. I’m not holding my breath.

You could already see the changes in the Northwest Highway store after its founders announced they wanted to sell chain in February. There was less merchandise on the shelves and fewer employees on the floor — to say nothing of my desk. How can you keep a customer waiting more than eight weeks for something as basic as a desk?

To keep costs down to impress a new buyer, of course. That the customer was inconvenienced was secondary to the sale price. This does not sound like the way to do things at a company that is supposed to be one of the best-run in the country.

I asked the employee who sold me the desk how the sale would affect the company. She gave me a nervous look and changed the subject.



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