Archive for the ‘Events’ Category
Look, I love to be in the stores at Christmastime–the hustle, the bustle, the gift wrap and free-flowing cider. It’s lovely to stroll a city street, or even a mall, and peer in the shop windows full of possibilities.
Except when it isn’t. I’ve been out and about almost every day, but honestly, I’ve accomplished much of my gift buying from home, late at night, online. I’ve taken advantage of online-exclusive offers to get deals better than I could have in-store, and I haven’t paid for shipping.
Neither should you: Friday is Free Shipping Day, one of the many created-for-commerce occasions that’s turned out to be pretty solid in just the past couple of years. More than 2,300 retailers have signed on, promising free shipping and delivery by Christmas Eve. Participants include national chains–Best Buy, Nordstrom, J.Crew, Toys ‘R Us, but also a lot of smaller independents including many based in the Twin Cities, like Creative Kidstuff, Finn Style, Foat Design and Moss Envy. Start browsing–Free Shipping Day begins at 12 a.m. EST. The lights stay on at the online stores all night long, and there’s no dress code. Many retailers will offer special Free Shipping Day deals as well. Gotta love those made up holidays!
Some retail destinations promote their selection or sales this time of year. At Mall of America, all that’s a given. The issue is getting to it. Thus, the “12 Days of Parking” promotion. MOA is reserving 12 front row parking spots for the 12 days leading up to Christmas. I’m giving them away today-Saturday, Dec. 10–on Shop Girls. A dozen listeners will be guaranteed VIP parking for next Saturday, Dec. 17. Each winner will also receive a $25 mall gift card. (And we all know you could spend that thing four or five times over in the minutes you’ll save searching for a parking spot.) Listen to win, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today on myTalk107.1.
P.S.: You’ll get another chance to win Tuesday in our shopping e-newsletter, Swag.
There’s no excuse for a generic card or gift wrapped in newspaper (claim eco-consciousness, at least) what with the Twin Cities’ deep pool of design talent. Local Produce is a new collaborative of experienced designers who have worked for major brands including Mara-Mi, Target and Anthropologie. The mission is simple: “create art that delights.” Experience that first hand Saturday at Corazon. Shop Local Produce gift wrap and tags, ribbons and package accents. Then shop the rest of the store (I had a hard time editing down all the great Corzon gifts for our Dec. gift guide in Mpls.St.Paul Magazine), and members of Local Product will wrap your packages in their paper (for a fee). Enjoy cookies and cider while you shop. 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday. 4646 E. Lake St., Mpls., 612-276-0198
MNfashion Week is becoming Minneapolis-St. Paul Fashion Week and shifting its calendar to align with the industry. That means showing collections a season ahead, just like they do in New York, with the hopes of getting orders from retailers with time for manufacturing. Basically, moving beyond the fashion show as entertainment to fashion show as launching pad. The upcoming season, announced today, will be held Feb. 19-26, 2012 and will premiere Autumn/Winter 2012 collections. The MNfashion organization, in its quest to professionalize the local design community, is also implementing a review process to improve the caliber of events and streamline the schedule so shows aren’t double-booked. Registration for Minneapolis-St.Paul Fashion Week runs through Dec. 23. The lineup will be announced Jan. 16. mnfashion.org
Bless you, Kiehl’s, for turning your Mall of America grand opening into a grand clean up of Movember, the national grow a moustache in November movement which has hurt our eyes (and relationships?) with many a creepy patch of upper lip facial hair. On Wednesday, the last day of the month, for one day only, Kiehl’s will offer complimentary moustache shaves for men from 4 to 7 p.m. And for every shave, Kiehl’s will donate $50 to the Minnesota AIDS Project. Ladies, dragging your mustachioed man into the store adds up to another $50 donation by Kiehl’s.
A Barbershop Quartet will create the mood and food and drink will be served. The first 160 customers in the store on Wednesday will receive a complimentary full-size product. And participate in raffles throughout the day. Mall of America, first floor, north side, 952-854-9541
I’ve been up all night and I have a DVD and two pairs of pajamas to show for it. I spent most of Black Friday eve and overnight broadcasting from MyTalk107.1 and the calls from shoppers never stopped–even at 3 a.m. Here’s what we know:
1. Yes, people will shop on Thanksgiving. Mall of America reports 15,000 shoppers showed up for its midnight opening. By 10 a.m., 81,000-that’s right–had walked through the doors, almost halfway to last year’s total of 200,000 Black Friday shoppers, a record MOA expects to break today. Target had 1,500 in line when the Bloomington, Minn. store opened at midnight. In California, a Target line topped 6,000. Retail analysts are already predicted midnight may be the new normal for Black Friday openings.
2. TVs are big. In size, and Black Friday popularity. The prices we’re seeing today are rock bottom, and experts don’t expect them to go much lower, even as the Super Bowl approaches. So if you can still find a deal on a LCD screen, take it.
3. Wal-Mart needs to regroup. Truly, the only negative shopping reports we heard from the front lines were from Wal-Mart. Shoppers did not have to wait outside, since the store was open all Thanksgiving, but that may have actually led to more problems. The “doorbuster” items, which went on sale at 10 p.m. and another round at midnight, were on shrink-wrapped palates in the aisles. So customers gathered around them, leading to pile ups, traffic jams and walking hazards in the crowd. We talked to many shoppers who left empty handed.
4. Speak up. Yes, it’s a crazy day, but that hasn’t stopped some super shoppers from asking for price matches, and often, they get them. My favorite pay off story came from a caller who was annoyed by a “Buy One Get One” offer. He expected if he bought one, he’d get one. Right? Turns out, it was buy one, get one 50 percent off. When he complained at Menards, they gave him the second item for free.
5. Black Friday this year is truly about hitting the stores. Retailers are saving their best online deals for Cyber Monday.
6. Shopping is the American way. Shopping for themselves, shopping with friends, shopping just to be part of event. We entered an alternative universe where people gladly spent the night out, in crowds, spending money, waiting in lines and not even complaining about it.
The sale announcements keep pouring in. We couldn’t fit them all on our Boutique Black Friday sale list, so here are even more deals from specialty retailers:
Sun & Ski Clothing Outfitters is hosting a Black Friday trunk show featuring Heidi Comfort Bags. (See one of the fab furry bags in the Mpls.St.Paul Magazine December gift guide!). 701 E. Lake St., Wayzata, 952-873-7282
Maha! is offering 50 percent off all activewear on Black Friday. 631 E. Lake St., Wayzata, 952-873-7001
Cooks of Crocus Hill will be 20 percent off storewide on Black Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. 877 Grand Ave., St. Paul and 3925 W. 50th St., Edina, 952-285-1903
martinpatrick3 is keeping us warm with 20 percent off cold weather accessories on Friday, open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. 212 Third Ave. N., Mpls., 612-746-5329
Melly is offering 25 percent off all sweaters–including cashmere–Friday and Saturday. Galleria, 952-929-9252
Grethen House is offering 30 percent off on Black Friday. Ann Lambrecht jewelry is 30 percent off all weekend long. 4930 France Ave. S., Edina, 952-926-8725
gh2 is offering 25 percent off on Black Friday and Saturday. 318 E. Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-378-0509
Pumpz & Co. is having a stock up sale: buy one pair at 30 percent off and get 50 percent off the second pair. Select styles only. Friday-Sunday. Galleria, 952-926-2252
Brightwater Clothing & Gear is offering 25 percent off Patagonia ultra-light down shirts and jackets. Friday-Sunday. 256 Water Street, Excelsior, 952-474-0256
Corset is taking Black Friday off. The store will re-open for Small Business Saturday with 20 percent off all accessories and complimentary gift wrapping. 715 Mainstreet, Hopkins, 952-224-2495
Allee Metro Chic will give you a $25 gift card when you spend $100. Saturday only. Limit five per customer. 493 Selby Ave., St. Paul, 651-414-0274
C’est Chic Boutique is offering 20 percent off all capes and coats. Plus drawings and refreshments while you shop on Small Business Saturday. 200 Third Ave. N., Mpls., 612-339-1600
Midnight is the new 4 a.m. this year, but there’s plenty of shopping happening before midnight on Black Friday…and after. Here are some key openings to know as you plan your route. And yes, you should have a plan.
Toys ‘R Us opens
- First wave of openings at Albertville Premium Outlets
Best Buy starts screening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 in parking lots of select stores, including Eden Prairie, Maple Grove and Richfield stores
Wal-Mart starts its Black Friday deals
- It’s the new 4 a.m.! Store openings including Target, Best Buy, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Herberger’s and more than 100 retailers at Mall of America. Click here to see the MOA deals.
Southdale Center and Maplewood Mall open* (select stores opening earlier)
Rosedale Center, Eden Prairie Center, Burnsville Center open*
Marshalls, T.J. Maxx, Saks Off 5th, Woodbury Lakes open*
*select stores opening earlier
11 a.m.: We put our turkey caps on to talk Black Friday with retail guru Tina Wilcox of Black Retail, on Shop Girls, myTalk107.1. From the left: Wilcox, my co-host Alexis Walsko and me. Wilcox says tweens are the ones to watch this holiday season–they have long wish lists and few practical concerns about spending. (Check out the December issue of Mpls.St.Paul Magazine for more shopping insights from Wilcox.)
2 p.m.: Costume change! Slipped into Michael Kors sequins to host Herberger’s fashion show–a splashy way to mark the opening of the Southdale Center store.
Oh my. It’s Will Deifel, whom you may recognize from the Calvin Klein ads. (Of course I look possessed.):
Right. The fashion. Lots of faux fur, sparkle, shades of grey, and more sparkle and faux fur:
7 p.m.: One more change, this time to my own dress (from the BCBG clearance rack)…for the Fraser Gala, where I “judged” a fashion show of dresses from Glitz at Mall of America with the evening’s emcee, designer and Project Runway alum Christopher Straub. (Look for his first collection for Maurice’s in stores on Friday.)
Joynoelle designer Joy Teiken unveiled her new ready-to-wear collection Monday evening in an intimate and elegant show at the Grand Cafe in Minneapolis. She was inspired by the idea of caged birds, interpreted as criss-cross fabrics, feathered skirts and delicately stripped overlays. The bigger idea behind Teiken’s designs was triumph over hardship–breaking free of the cage. She succeeded there, as well. Teiken has long been adept at executing a cohesive and clever theme–no small feat–but this collection is her most promising to date–confirmed by the oohs and ahhs of the ladies in the attendance. Her latest bridal designs have already attracted some attention from New York fashion editors. It would be nice to finally see that enthusiasm reinforced by an investor or retailer with the resources to take Joynoelle to the next level. Her hometown fans would love nothing more than to say we knew her when…