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Ali Shops Blog

Posts Tagged ‘anthropologie’

Personal shoppers at Anthropologie

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

And as I examined myself in a pair of cropped pants in the fitting room mirror at Anthropologie, I thought, if only I had "a best friend and confidant available…for exceptional support, insight and a little fun."
Talk about your full service specialty chain. Anthropologie is taking a cue from department stores, introducing a free personal shopping service at many locations nationwide, including the 50th and France store. Call for an appointment – I’m told the personal shoppers can assist on both the fashion and home sides of the store, with anything from a wardrobe update to freshening up a room to top-to-bottom makeovers. The press release promises a whole lot, including the personal shopper pledge to "keep a record of clients’ sizes and interests, so they can alert them when something they might like first arrives." Sounds like  the stuff any good retail sales associate should be doing, but at least Anthropologie recognizes the need to enhance service. This is a great opportunity for women who get overwhelmed by Anthropologie’s selection (there’s always more merchandise under the tables), and for women who crave a fresh alternative but always assumed the store was too whimsical or too young (both my mom and I are huge fans, but rarely do we walk out with the same items). Again, like the personal shopping service provided at better department stores, this program is free. You’ve got nothing to lose. Except maybe your old best friend and confidant.

Macy’s holiday show

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

Nutcracker With every annual department store event, from Glamorama to Christmas, there’s speculation about whether or not Macy’s is going to ruin it. But have no fear: Macy’s does the animated holiday show tradition proud this year with its magical version of "The Nutcracker." I got a sneak peek Thursday night during the media preview party. Heard lots of comments that this year’s display is really top-notch. The show in the 8th floor auditorium of the Minneapolis store opens to the public on Saturday and runs through the end of the year. Be sure to hit the gift shop at the end of the show – it’s much more than silly souvenirs. You’ll find a really nice assortment of vintage toys, stocking stuffers, gourmet candies and a few accessories for the grownups. My mom zeroed in on the $59 embroidered toiletry bags with lots of interior compartments. She recently saw the exact same bags at Ampersand – priced around $15 higher. Go mom!

Rolling tights already?

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

This week, as my uterus experienced an obvious expansion, I declared this the dress-up pregnancy. It’s much easier right now to find stylish A-line or Empire waist dresses on the racks that will accommodate – or, dare I hope, flatter – my growing belly than pants. And admittedly, I’m pretty pleased with the Anthropologie flutter sleeve, knee-length number I’ve got on today. Only problem is, I can no longer stand up because my tights have cut off circulation from hips on down. Did I really block this out from last time around? I forgot how quickly tights become an issue. Stay in your current size, and they hurt or roll down (the real reason why pregnant women waddle). Go up a size, and they sag. Try the maternity ones and be prepared for complete claustrophobia. No woman was meant to wear hosiery up to her boobs.
Don’t mind me, I’ll just be sitting here until the pins cease pricking my feet.

Adios, eq-life

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

When I broke the news to my editor yesterday that eq-life is closing its last remaining store on Grand Avenue, she replied: “We already knew that, right?” In our hearts, I told her. The announcement of the planned November closing was made official only this week, but the writing has been on those sparsely merchandised walls for some time. The concept of blending health and technology in a setting that appeals to women was intriguing, but always somewhat confusing to the average shopper. Ipods, feel good books, organic vitamins, lotion and lattes? What is this place – a giant stereotype? Not only was the message a bit vague and condescending, there was no real reason to visit. The atmosphere felt institutional. And everything sold at eq-life could be purchased elsewhere. The company’s future seems to be shops within hospitals, which probably makes more sense. As for the gaping hole the store leaves at the primo corner of Victoria and Grand, my money is on Anthropologie…and another big fight from the chain-hating neighbors.

Be a little less Free, People

Sunday, December 10th, 2006

Certain shopping moments stand out. I remember discovering a brand called Free People at the Urban Outfitters on State Street in Madison, Wis. back — way back — when I was a college student. There was a black and white zip up sweater I really, really wanted, but couldn’t afford. But that was the exception. Back then, Free People was juniors stuff — basics, mostly.

The line reentered my shopping consciousness a few years ago when it showed up at Marshall Field’s — looking fresh and more sophisticated (I like to think we grew up together. I’m entitled to think that. Okay?). I started buying the free-flowing tops and sun dresses. So did my mother!

Now, I can’t get away from the line. It’s everywhere I shop, from better department stores to Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters, which are part of the same company that owns Free People, to boutiques. Like, every boutique. There’s a definite trend right now of gift stores dipping a toe into women’s apparel — most seem to cultivate a bohemian-chic type look and virtually every one of them is selling Free People.

Time to show some restraint, Free People. I like your clothes. The prices are decent. The look is distinct. But it won’t be for long. | Mpls.St.Paul Magazine © 2008 MSP Communications, Inc. All rights reserved