Lord and Taylor’s Flagship in NYC Goes Dark

Lord & Taylor, one of New York City’s oldest and iconic department stores, has closed up shop after 104 years.

On opening day in 1914, 75000 customers streamed through their front doors.  The amenities of the store included several restaurants, separate roof top lunch rooms for male and female associates, a doctor and dentist office, gymnasium and a concert hall with a built-in pipe organ.

WeWork will be the new tenant.

Muji in PDX

Muji of Japan recently opened a store in a storied retail location.  The store is located in the 100 year old Meier & Frank building in downtown Portland returning a “department store” to this respected storefront.

The name is derived from Mujirushi (no-brand) Ryōhin (quality goods), Muji is noted by its design minimalism, emphasis on recycling, avoidance of waste in production and packaging, and no-logo or “no-brand” policy.

Inventory includes men’s and women’s clothing, home furnishings, food and stationary items. Also included in the store is a coffee shop and an alteration center.

It’s magical

Disney storefront

It had been some time since I had visited a Disney Store so when I passed by one the other day I had to stop in.

I wandered through the store checking out how the Star Wars brand has been woven into the Disney merchandising, listening in on customer interactions and observing the joy that the customers exhibited in visiting a little slice of the happiest place on Earth.  Finally, I ended my explorations at the back of the store drawn towards a small crowd gathered there.  There were a dozen people around plush mountain watching the video wall on the back of the store.

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Kudos to Freddy’s

I lived most of my life in the Midwest. So when I finally caught up with some friends by moving to the PNW, they excitedly shared their love for Fred Meyer, a regional chain owned by Kroger.  There are amazing places similar to  SuperTarget or Walmart Supercenters.  But truth be told, I really never became a regular customer.

But on our recent road trip, we stopped at a Fred Meyer for some supplies and I was reminded of one thing that I, even someone who has never had children, appreciate in the larger Fred Meyer stores, Freddy’s Playland.

Freddy’s Playland is a drop-off day care offering an hour of free care for children 2 to 5 while their parent(s) do their shopping.  What a great service and something that keeps Fred Meyer customers loyal.  Kudos.

Wrong Audience?

Walking past Sears today and their front of store display caught my eye.  The store in our local mall typically features a Lands End display, so this was not out of the ordinary.  What took me by surprise was the marketing of Lands’ End clothing to “spring breakers.”

One I think of spring breakers, I do not think of college students drinking and partying in clothing from Lands’ End.  The map features the apparent route one would take from Dodgeville, WI, the headquarters of Lands’ End and Daytona Beach, one of the college hotspots. Maybe if the marketing spoke of spring vacation with the kids and the map destination was Disney, it may be more on target.

Grabbing their attention.

Door handles of the DQ Grill & Chill in Bend, OR

Door handles of the DQ Grill & Chill in Bend, OR

Almost as iconic as the trademarked curl on the top of their cones is Dairy Queen’s red spoon.

It is a stroke of branding genius that DQ restaurants are beginning to adorn their stores with oversized red spoon as door pulls.   This photo was taken last weekend in Bend OR.  I always appreciate themed door pulls at specialty stores.  The pulls are a great way to create a positive customer impression!

You do not have to take my word for it.  The red spoon door pulls were featured in LockNet, the website about doors and locks for businesses. See link below.

http://www.locknet.com/lockbytes/custom-door-hardware-boosting-your-brand/