As the holiday hangover lifts, reality sets in. January tends not to be the most joyful month for retail...shoppers are burned out, not ready to think spring and store owners are facing facts. First to announce their closing: South Minneapolis eco-friendly store Birch. The good news is, they will continue to exist online. And with that news comes the closing sale. See Sales/Specials for details on this and many other January sales.
Got a question? Need some help? You could wander around a store forever. But quietly stroll the sales floor with a notebook in hand and managers appear out of thin air. Today's locale: JC Penney at Rosedale Center. My shopping companion: green lifestyle expert Danny Seo, designer of JC Penney's very own Simply Green home line. There he was, picking up one of his own pillows when a manager with a clipboard surfaced offering to "help us." What she really meant was: who are you and what are you doing that may get me in trouble with corporate? Danny, who is a fixture on the JC Penney website, not to mention the author of best selling books, a magazine columnist and frequent guest on national shows like, oh, Oprah, couldn't have been more cordial, but it was clear he was a little hurt. "I work for JC Penney," he told her, and recited the names and numbers of folks in the corporate office to verify this. "He's decorated for Tobey Maguire!" I offered. The manager retreated. We finished shopping. At least he gets a corporate card, which he used to pay for around $100 of his own merch, which he'll give away on Shop Girls Saturday, June 20.
Read more about my shopping spree with Danny in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on June 21.