Posts Tagged ‘gap’
Gap closed its Maplewood Mall store yesterday, and there will be more exits before the end of January: Old Navy, New York & Company and Suncoast Motion Pictures are all checking out of the east metro shopping center within the week. This comes on the heels of recent renovations to the east metro mall by Simon Property Group, the nation’s largest mall owner, which also owns Southdale Center in the Twin Cities.
In the constant quest to get shoppers excited and make the evening news, both Target and Mall of America announced today their plans to open at midnight on Black Friday. It actually seems more civilized than 3 or 4 a.m. I’d rather stay up late than crawl out of bed in the middle of the night to shop.
Black Friday hours have been creeping earlier for years. Last year, several chains, including Sears and Gap, were open on Thanksgiving Day. Premium Outlets, including Albertville, has opened at midnight the past few years–creating traffic jams in the process.
Target says the decision to open four hours earlier than last year was based on customer demand. Mall of America has 70 of its 500-plus retailers signed on for the midnight opening. It will be interesting to see what the deals are like: longer hours could actually help retailers create more of a party atmosphere–putting the emphasis on the event of shopping, rather than the blockbuster deals that have become synonymous with Black Friday. But it would have to be a really excellent party. Discounts are the reward for staying up late or rising extra early, and it won’t be easy to change that.
P.S.: Macy’s announced on Monday that its stores will open at midnight on Black Friday as well.
Will you shop at midnight?
The months of squeezing through tables heaped with jeans and hunting down the floating kids store are over: Gap will open its new Mall of America store on Saturday, Oct. 30. Gap and GapKids are together in one two-level storefront on the south side of the mall (GapBaby and Maternity have a separate spot). To celebrate, Gap at MOA is offering 30 percent off storewide on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., get a Bare Escentuals mini makeunder and a free professional photo shoot. A live DJ will entertain.
Gap invites shoppers to Recycle their Blues now through Oct. 20. Bring in old jeans to be recycled into UltraTouch Natural Cotton Fiber Housing Insulation for communities in need and receive a 30 percent discount on 1969 Premium Jeans. Become a Gap Facebook Fan for an extra 10 percent off. Last March, when Gap did its first ever national denim drive, more than 270,000 pairs of jeans were collected – providing insulation for 500 homes.
Grown-ups frequently complain that mall stores cater to teens. Yet one by one, the "grown-up" concepts introduced by the big three: Gap (Forth & Towne), Abercrombie & Fitch (Ruehl No. 925) and most recently, American Eagle's Martin + Osa, have failed. Do the chains not understand what post-college shoppers want to wear into their 30s and beyond? Or are those shoppers not buying what they say they want? With Martin + Osa, I'd say it's a bit of both. AE didn't skimp on the trappings at Martin + Osa: the dramatic wood store exterior, the musky scent, the spacious fitting rooms that are like an escape to the country. Perhaps they should have spent more time developing the look of the clothes. A little bit J. Crew, a little Banana – Martin + Osa offered some great basics (I own several), but failed to truly distinguish itself and connect with its intended customer base. That said, shoppers need to step out of their rut, stop complaining and consider the alternatives – or the alternatives disappear and we're left with ultra low rise skinny, relaxed cut capris and not a whole lot in between.
But not quite yet. Martin + Osa is still receiving new spring merchandise and stores, including the Mall of America location, will remain open until they sell through it (sale merch is currently and extra 30% off; jeans are $25 off). Stores will close by July or August – maybe sooner, as people discover Martin + Osa, now that it's getting some attention.
It's nice to know fashion editors agree: Old Navy jeans are the best budget buy. SELF magazine editor Lindsay Huggins – aka "Denim Doctor" gave me the scoop last week on "Shop Girls." Her favorite is the Old Navy Diva jean, which she calls a universal fit. It comes in various rises and skinny, wide or boot cut. She tried it on 10 magazine staffers and said it worked for all of them. Other jeans under $50 worth trying: Gap and DKNY. Of course, Huggins isn't giving up her premium denim entirely. She love, love, loves her J Brand jeans – as do Eva Longoria, Heidi Klum, Katie Holmes and even Vogue editor Anna Wintour. Find them locally at Bluebird Boutique and Neiman Marcus. Prices start at $150. Good thing you'll have those Old Navys to fall back on for laundry days.
The coupons are working. I've shopped Gap more in the past few weeks than the past year. I do find the current collection of sweaters, scarves and basics more appealing than the past several rounds of merchandise, but the real draw: constant discount offers at the stores, in the mail and in my in-box. Just picked up two scarves, regularly $30 to $40 for $10 apiece. In my car are three Gap sweaters, all marked down, plus I had an extra 10 percent off voucher (could have bumped that up to 25 percent if I'd signed up for a Gap credit card). Even as I paid, I found myself thinking: these will probably be marked down further next week. Decided I'd evaluate at home and most likely, will return one or two. I'm expecting to bump into my friend Kirsten at the return desk. "I have found myself buying things because they are cheap, but when I get home, I feel like, 'Do I really need another sweater from the Gap?" Spending might be down, but returns are expect to reach an all time high this holiday season as buyer's remorse gets the best of us. Are you feeling it?
Of all the stars to be pregnant at the same time I am, did it have to be Halle Berry? Even Julia Roberts would have been easier – megawatt smile aside, Julia sometimes looks delightfully frumpy in candids at the grocery store.
Not Halle. There she is in her Roberto Cavalli halter style dress – outshining a non-pregnant girl in the same frock, according to the UsWeekly reader poll (Admittedly, I agreed). Last week, in a People magazine feature on pregnancy style, Halle was declared "The Hottie." Signature pieces: Curve hugging dresses, thin knits, chunky jewelry. That description sounds reasonable enough, until you see them on her.
Knocked up or not, there’s no reason for the rest of us even to try.
The headline on this particular article read "Elastic waist slacks? Never!" And I happened to see it shortly after returning from the mall with my first pair of maternity pants. Elastic waist. Let’s call them "stretchy" instead. At least they don’t have the panel over the belly – I’m having enough itchy stomach issues without adding fabric to the situation. They’re charcoal gray fine wale cords, skinny through the leg (Finally! Some non-boxy maternity pants!) with a flare at the bottom. I found them on sale for $29.99 at GapMaternity. There was a little flaw in the fabric at the knee, so I scored an extra 20 percent off.
Don’t misunderstand, Halle – like you, I can still button my jeans (so, it’s the AGs I bought a size too large, not the skinny Hudsons, but we don’t need to talk about that, or the fact that they sit so low anyone behind me is in danger of being mooned). But I see the writing on the wall. At 21 weeks, the growing has only just begun. Hot Halle, preggers for the first time, doesn’t know that. She was quoted saying she doesn’t think she’ll need maternity clothes until her final month. We’ll see. Even with a bod like hers – or actually, because of it, that baby has nowhere to grow but out. Faster than you can fathom, that "cute" bump becomes plain ol’ big. And even the trendy, flowy tops and dresses stop looking so flowy on a swollen middle.
I’ll be watching, Halle. From the comfort of my chic enough elastic waist cords. And don’t even think about copying – I nabbed the last pair.
Burberry has opened a snazzy new shop at Mall of America. Yes, Mall of America. You’ll find it across from the Gap and Rainforest Cafe. Not exactly Fifth Avenue – or even the Galleria – but then, this hot brand is apparently looking beyond the obvious luxury retail corridors. Having long since closed its doors at Gaviidae Common (remember that?), opening at MOA is an interesting move. It speaks to the tourist traffic (especially international) that has no clue there’s shopping in the Twin Cities beyond MOA. And it speaks to the way this plaid brand has connected with young people. It’s not just about umbrellas and coats anymore. It’s high design, it’s posh, it’s glamorous. And the store exudes that, with bright lights, fast music and a floor to ceiling screen playing the latest Burberry runway show. Now the question is, will the typical Burberry customer step beyond Nordstrom to shop here? And will the rest of the MOA shoppers pay $550 for a black skirt? Even if it is totally adorable. Love to hear your thoughts.