Every time my husband suggests we go into Macy’s, I tell him I have a headache. I don’t really have a headache, but I know if I step one foot inside the store, I’ll surely develop one. It’ll probably be a migraine, as a matter of fact.
I once loved strolling around the famous Herald Square store, looking at the glorious estate jewelry department, the endless selection of socks, and, of course, the housewares department in the basement. The Cellar was stocked with goodies worthy of Julia Child. I can’t forget the spectacular designer apparel department. Sales people knew their stuff, the displays were beautiful, and so was the clothing.
Today, Macy’s feels and looks like one big bazaar, or should I say flea market. Only I’m not in Morocco or Paris and I would be hard pressed to find the goodies that I surely would discover in either place.
Now you know why we boomer women are falling in love again with specialty stores: We appreciate their service, their product knowledge and their selection. GNC for vitamins, Sephora for cosmetics (although I was just introduced to Blue Mercury by a friend and I like it better), and the neighborhood shoe store, among others. It’s also more and more fun to meander around drug stores, which are jazzing up their selections and displays.
If we don’t have time to go to our favorite specialty shops, we head right to our PC or Mac and buy on line. Sally Hilkene, owner of Churchill in Kansas City (and one of the great shops that will be associated with faboverfifty.com when we launch in January) told me women are even purchasing expensive jewelry on line.
I remember when department stores thrived in every major city: J.L. Hudson in Detroit, Marshall Field in Chicago, Burdines in Miami, I. Magnin in San Francisco. Over the years, stores either went out of business or Macy’s gobbled them up. Speaking of gobbling, about the only thing remaining of Macy’s past is, you guessed it, The Thanksgiving Parade.