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Posts Tagged ‘Abercrombie’

The trick to Halloween at the mall

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

An M&M hands out treats to my Elmo and others at Coach

I took my 6-year-old vampire and 2-year-old Elmo to the mall trick-or-treat this afternoon because A) Not even massive quantities of Skittles and Three Musketeers could have powered me through another four hours of answering, “Not until the sun sets” when asked every five minutes, “Is it time to go trick or treating?” B) I don’t like to be cold. And C) I thought perhaps I might steal a few minutes to browse for a new sweater.

As Halloween spending continues to rise – $5.8 billion by this year’s estimates – shopping centers and main street shopping districts have figured out how to play up their status at the modern day town center, giving us a place to show off our little Batmans and princesses before nightfall. I was at Southdale Center, which did a fine job of creating a party atmosphere with crafts in center court, giveaways for kids and train rides (albeit, $3 a pop). But as we left the Aveda store with nothing more than a Starburst, I couldn’t help but think most retailers did not make the most of this animated crowd – a crowd that included many who surely would not have been shopping today, were it not for the desire to find a temperature controlled place to celebrate; a crowd that included many who would gladly have been shopping, were they not chaperoning Harry Potter or Mini Mouse.

It’s not that I’m trying to pick on Aveda, but for a retailer that frequently boasts about its free tea and mini massages, why not serve up a little slice of that bliss to the handlers of the little monsters? How about tossing us a sample size lotion, the scent of which would have lasted long after the sugar high faded? Likewise, Bath & Body Works missed a chance to slip shoppers a lip balm or scented hand sanitizer. The Children’s Place skipped Halloween, as did Abercrombie, which plays like a bad attitude for stores that clothe the trick-or-treating set. Macy’s did nothing, which was sadly expected. But the non-player that really got me: Godiva. A chocolate shop – boycotting the mall trick or treat? As if I would consider shelling out $10 for two of their “Halloween chocolates” when they didn’t even care enough to give kids a little taste? Meanwhile, Cinnabon, which also earns its keep selling treats gave away mini cupcakes and Ben & Jerry’s and the smoothie bar had chocolates at the ready.

The one store that really seemed to make the most of the occasion: The Limited, which handed out mini chocolates wrapped with orange paper that said “Sweet Treat – A Gift from the Limited (Unwrap to see yours).” Inside the wrapper was a coupon for 25 percent off – good through tomorrow.  So sweet. So simple. So useful – especially considering I never did get time today to look for that sweater. Now I know where to go first when I return to the mall.

Never Ruehled

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Feeling rather burned out on the whole Gap/Banana situation, I was pleased when Abercrombie & Fitch brought its "grown-up" concept, Ruehl No. 925, to Mall of America. But that enthusiasm quickly turned to disappointment when I saw (as much as someone of my advanced age can see in one of Abercrombie's dimly lit stores) the usual selection of expensive jeans and overpriced tees. Seemed their idea of what people want when they outgrow Abercrombie was more of the same, just priced higher. As often as I'm at MOA, I must admit, I returned to Ruehl only once or twice more – it just never made my regular route…or that of most shoppers', apparently. Ruehl will close this week at MOA, and around the country. And more dark days are ahead for the chain that once thought it was above sales and discounts. Abercombie & Fitch at Rosedale Center is said to be closing this month as well.

Ruehl doesn’t rule

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

Maybe there isn’t life after distressed denim and cargo pants.
Finally got over to Mall of America to check out Ruehl No. 925Abercrombie & Fitch‘s attempt to outfit post-grads. Located on the second level of MOA outside Nordstrom, right next door to the other new A&F concept, Gilly Hicks, Ruehl clearly used the same design team, with a brick facade and a maze of dimly lit rooms. Nearly impossible to navigate with a stroller, which should matter, when you’re trying to appeal to those of us beyond 21. I was expecting sophisticated new takes on basics for work and play. But the Ruehl wardrobe is designed for the dorm supervisor with a trust fund. Premium denim, lacy camis, cotton tops and sweats. Fewer logos than you’d find at the sister stores, but other than that, it’s basically more of the same, plus handbags priced at $300 and higher. Just what we need.
One corridor over, Levi’s has opened its first company store in town. Yes, more denim. But much less pretense.
Oh, and more jeans to come: True Religion will open a store at MOA in December. Other brands opening stores in the coming months include Nike, Columbia, Lush, Harley Davidson and Frederick’s of Hollywood.

Lacoste opening

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Get ready for a preppy infusion: Lacoste is set to open at Mall Of America on July 10. If you haven’t shopped the brand since the days when it was cool to wear tube socks with cut offs, you’re in for sticker shock: the alligator is a lot more sophisticated second time around. Should be a nice addition for MOA, where the designer options are still rather limited beyond the department stores. Also opening at the mall in July: Ruehl No. 925, Abercrombie’s answer for post-grads and the Twin Cities’ first Levis shop.

New at MOA

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

It’s been a while since Mall of America had an exciting announcement
that didn’t involve SpongeBob. (The Nickelodeon Universe theme park
is supposed to open March 15, by the way.) But finally, MOA is rolling out the welcome mat for a whole new crop of stores, including two new concepts from Abercrombie & Fitch: Gilly Hicks Sydney, "an upscale but moderately priced" underwear brand launching world-wide this year and Ruehl, targeting the post-Abercrombie generation of 22 to 35-year-olds with urban business casual apparel.  After Gap’s "grown-up" Forth & Towne brand tanked before making it to Minneapolis, I’m glad we’re going to get a shot at shopping Ruehl. Other newcomers in the next few months will include Gymboree’s fancier line, Janie and Jack as well as company stores from Levis and Lacoste. Just when shopping starts to seem staid, MOA does come through, reminding us of its power to draw big brands. I just hope someone in this price-sensitive town is actually buying those lovely things at the new Burberry store.


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