Posts Tagged ‘j. crew’
I’ve been mulling a column idea this week about the proliferation of accessories stores, both locally owned and national chains. So many stores now specialize in affordable baubles and trinkets – which are also readily available at virtually every clothing store, discounter and outlet, too. When I asked friends on Facebook where they go to accessorize in a hurry, the answers ranged from specialty chains like Charming Charlie and Francesca’s to J.Crew, Opitz Outlet and locals like Fringe. The numbers support the trend – I did my homework, and accessories sales are up. You know the reasons: accessories are an easy, affordable update, a justifiable indulgence and one size fits all. But I have been wondering if we’re all so well accessorized at this point, that what we really need is some new clothes.
With this in mind, I was delighted by the new Maria Rivolta store at Southdale Center – it’s the first U.S. location for the Argentinian jewelry designer and is filled with bracelets, necklaces, rings and more for less than $50. But this new boutique really stands out in the increasingly crowded field. Color. Unique design and distinct point of view. Pieces seem current, yet not-to-trend – and look like they may survive more than a handful of wearings. You’ll find yourself needing a copper and black leather bracelet or a sculpted gold ring or a bright red watch. And I suppose that answers my original pondering: there really is no end to our appetite for accessories.
Maria Rivolta is 25 percent off this weekend – details in Sales/Specials.
Tags: Accessories, charming charlie, francesca's, j. crew, maria rivolta, southdale
Posted in Accessories | 3 Comments »
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.
Tags: american eagle, forth & towne, gap, j. crew, martin, martin + osa, osa, Ruehl, store closings
Posted in Women & Men's Fashion | No Comments »
Rosedale Center has long been a more pleasant, updated place to shop than, say, Southdale. And it’s finally getting the stores and amenities that will keep shoppers on the east side of town (watch out, Mall of America!). The mall announced Tuesday that J. Crew, Sephora, White House/Black Market and C.J. Banks will open at Rosedale this spring, along with Rocco Altobelli Salon & Day Spa and Flame, a new restaurant from Hemisphere Restaurant Partners. And of course, Lucy is already there – MOA doesn’t have that one!
Tags: c.j. banks, cj banks, flame, hemisphere restaurant partners, j. crew, jcrew, lucy, Mall of America, minneapolis shopping, MOA, rocco, rocco altobelli, rosedale, sephora, southdale, St. Paul shopping, twin cities shopping, white house black market, white house/black market
Posted in Shopping Tips | No Comments »
Which is worse: no sales associate behind the register, or an associate who stands there, doing nothing, even when the customer asks for help? Not once, but twice in the past week I have directly asked about sizes I couldn’t find on the rack, only to receive a shrug from the staff. The first time, it happened at J.Crew. I was filing through stacks of shirts, unable to turn up a large. I told the employee who was folding at the table next to me and she said "Yeah, those are popular." Not "I’m sorry, we’re all out of that size" or "Here, let me check for you." Eventually, I found one on my own. And when they asked at the register if anyone had been helping me, I promptly replied "No."
It happened again in the men’s department at Macy’s where I was initially delighted to find an employee behind the register, only to discover he had no interest in coming out to help me find a jacket for my dad. They "probably" didn’t have it, he told me. I moved on.
I realize it’s not terribly original to complain about bad service at this time of year, but honestly, retailers should know what’s happening on the front lines.
Tags: bad retail service, bad store service, customer serivce, holiday service, j. crew, macy's, service, store service
Posted in Shopping Tips | 4 Comments »