Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Saturday Seven: Retailers I Respect & Love

I've always thought of myself as a true retailer. I enjoy the art of retail- both as a customer and an employee. Good retailers know that it's more than just selling stuff. It is also about the environment and experience; where the selling floor is a stage. I've been in the retail industry for over 22 years; starting my professional career with Macy's in New York. That early experience was magic for me, and sparked a career path that has led me to work for some remarkably good companies, and a few mediocre ones as well. I like to think of myself as a student of retail- but before you start snickering, it's not just about shopping. I actually enjoy the experience of being in a world class retail store and observing all the attention to details. (For the record, I am focusing on US retailers.)This brings me to another scintillating edition of: The Saturday Seven: Retailers I Respect and Love
#1 Crate and Barrel- Hands down my favorite retailer. They merchandise is usually top quality, practical and decent value. I could spend hours in their stores.
#2 Whole Foods- These guys run a great operation. They have top quality foods, have knowledgeable people working for them, and they care about the environment.

#3 Borders Books & Music- I can spend hours in a Borders store. So much to experience and things that tempt me to open my wallet...

#4 Brooks Brothers- Where I buy nearly all of my clothes, right down to underwear and socks. I just love their consistent, classic style and impeccable quality.
#5 Costco- These guys are geniuses. I pay for the privilege to shop at their store, buy things I never knew I needed (in huge quantities no less) and manage to spend $300 every time I visit. And I feel good about it! Truly amazing.

#6 Williams Sonoma- Cooking, Baking and eating are among my passions. These stores have so many interesting things in them!
#7 Lowe's- It doesn't get any more practical than Lowe's but I have to admit, they run decent stores that consistently meet or exceed my needs as a customer.

Bonus entry: Neiman Marcus- Seems like an odd choice because I don't actually buy much from them but oh how I love their stores and attention to detail.
Who are your favorite retailers? Go ahead, tell me what you think! Like the good retailer I am, I'm having a sale. ALL COMMENTS ARE ON SALE TODAY- NO CHARGE!
-Rick Rockhill


kenju said...

I like all the stores you mention except Brook Bros. Mr. kenju shops there, but they can't/don't carry clothes that fit me, since they stop at size 14 and I am a bit bigger than that nowadays. Shame on them for carrying clothing big enough to fit tall/large men, but not women!

My other favorites are TJMaxx and Stein Mart, for bargains that can't be beat!

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

well you will think i am NUTS but i actually like to go to walmart sometimes! (along with lots of other choices of course!) i also like tourneau and chanel and gucci too...

smiles, bee

Rhodester said...

I'm partial to Petco, which is where we get all of our kitty's needs.. and what do you know, a brand new one opened up next to where we live! What do you think of THAT, Rick? :-)

Palm Springs Savant said...

Aw, shucks Rhodester, how very kind you are. I hope you made it to the store GO to pick up someof the free goodies. It's still going on today (Sunday).

Kerry and Rachel said...

Great list! I've been to all of them except Brooks Brothers. I would add to that list, Restoration Hardware, and for everyday things good old Target.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I so agree with you Rick....I think all the ones you mentioned are Top Notch in every respect!
I used to LOVE Bloomingdales...'back in the day'...In New York only. I don't know how it is now---I haven't been in the New York store for maybe 20 years....! BUT, it used to live up to all of your Criteria.
And truthfully? Except for some other old timey New York Stores...Bergdorf Goodman, Bonwitt Teller, Saks Fifth Avenue---ALL were top top TOP Notch, in the oldem days---Again, I'm talking about the New York City stores, only....other than these, I cannot think of any others.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I absolutely adore the blog! And also love the list, but would have to amend it to add Target and probably Bergdorf's. Can't wait to come back and catch up on earlier posts; it's delightful to find some original topics and writing! Happy Father's Day: Owen & Kashimi have a wonderful Dad! (BTW, could not *possibly* tell you how I stumbled my way here!)

Cheryl said...

Great choice of stores. I'm so glad you added Border's. I'd have to add The Container Store, Homegoods and Marshalls and Trader Joe's.

Olivia said...

When we lived in Dallas we had Neiman Marcus cards. A long time ago. They were either maroon or gold, I can't remember.

I like Whole Foods, but am never entirely sure why. Maybe it's a Texas thing. I have yet to enter a Trader Joe's here in NYC though I keep hearing about it. I did manage to skip Whole Foods today and go into the Garden of Eden nearby, which is like the local very small, very gourmet predecessor of WF, special enough not to have been closed down by it as they are only a few hundred yards apart on 14th Street at Union Sq.

I am trying so hard to spend less time at Macy's though it's such a temptation to spend my sterling there.

I shall balance that out by a trip to IKEA tomorrow. And I'm overdue a trip to the Target I have missed.

I wish Macy's hadn't taken over Foley's in TX. It's not the same anymore...

Obviously I haven't yet settled on my fave new stores in the NYC area, though Filene's Basement is a possible contender.

Mike said...

Love the list. I would like to add:

- Target
- Trader Joe's
- Apple store
- REI (this store makes you feel like an outdoorsman even if you have never been camping)

My only complaint about Brooks Brothers is they do not carry size XXL for men.


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