Archive for Prosinec, 2011

Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary shirt is a real treasure, for a limited time

You enter the quiet, overgrown cavern by pushing open the heavy stone door with all your might. Inside, sunlight streams through the broken ceiling, and dust that hasn’t been disturbed in hundreds of years lazily floats through the air, shaken up by your entrance. The sunbeams land on the summit of a small set of stairs, where a very ornate, red and gold chest sits, teasing and waiting for you to open it.

You do. As you crack open the ancient treasury, a small fanfare plays, starting quietly, and then opening up into a triumphant series of simple notes, telling you that you have finally done it. This, this, that you pull out of the centuries-old coffer, is fine treasure indeed.

It’s a shirt, adorned with some kind of legendary logo, a heart container tag, and the number “25″ on the back. It’s available in five sizes, for a special one-time only printing. Order now, before February 20, 2012, to get it sometime this May. You fold the shirt into your leather pack, and move on through the dungeon — who knows what fearsome beast you might have to use this on, three different times, to defeat it?

Ellenton shoppers fired up to take on the ‘day after’

Diane Borch jolted wide awake from a deep sleep in Sarasota at 6:15 a.m. Monday and quickly herded her groggy family into the family vehicle.”We’ll get some Starbucks in the food court when we get there,” Borch assured her barely conscious clan.Diane, her son, Jason, her daughter, Nadine, and future son-in-law, Philip Omielczenko, all of whom live in Canada except at Christmas-time, raced about 30 miles to Ellenton Premium Outlets.By noon, when the Borches were ready to go home, all the parking spots were filled with thousands of shoppers.

“They’re all coming and we’re leaving,” Jason Borch said with a big smile, hoisting $600 to $700 in swag from stores like Ecko Unltd , Esprit, J. Crew, Bath and Body Works, Columbia Sportswear, Banana Republic, Guess and others.The Borches had just become a statistic — part of the list of area shoppers who traded in a morning of sleeping-in for “day-after-Christmas” deep discounts and early returns at Ellenton Premium Outlets and other locales Monday.”It’s a tradition,” said Diane Borch. “The mall in Ellenton opens at 7 a.m. the day after Christmas so we grab our fruit and juice and go.”

Turns out a man can have too many T-shirts.Klaus Borch, Diane’s husband, stayed home, but still scored a pleasing Hawaiian shirt from Columbia Sportswear.”I bought pants, shorts, a couple of shirts and shoes, all for $60 at Ecko Unltd and back home in Ontario I could get just one pair of pants for $60,” Jason Borch said, referring to the deep discounts at each store Monday.Sarah Ozgun, an assistant general manager for the Ellenton Premium Outlets, said the Borches’ tradition is a shared one as people go after good deals on the day after.

Turns out a man can have too many T-shirts

A man can never own too many T-shirts, I always say.I’ve said dumber things, but that failed philosophy is at the root of what I call my “T-shirt collection.”It’s not really a collection, of course, more of an accumulation — the logical result of our “been there, done that, got the free T-shirt” world.Unfortunately, time and drawer space have exposed the limitations of this philosophy, proving there’s nothing really logical about hoarding T-shirts.That’s why I sat down recently to cull the herd, the details of which I am sharing because I doubt I am the only one so afflicted.

By my count, there were at least 37 T-shirts in my possession, not counting plain white undershirts. They spanned four decades, stretching literally from the age when my once thin frame swam in an extra-large to its current state, where XXL barely does the trick.Among the first to go were the “proud parent” T-shirts bought to show support for my boys’ high school activities — the OPRF Huskies volleyball team, swim team and marching band. I’m still proud, but time marches on, and they’re in college, which will require new T-shirts.

The proud parent T-shirts were followed closely into the discard pile by the shirt proclaiming Cordele, Ga., the “Watermelon Capital of the World,” sent by a reader in response to a column about my love for watermelon. It was very sweet of her, but like its owner, the shirt had gone to seed.Next to go were a 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games shirt (I did not attend), a City Hall Press Corps shirt from back in the days we played an annual softball game with the City Council (the aldermen regularly kicked our butts owing to their homegrown familiarity with 16-inch) and a shirt from the Chicago Celebrities-Chicago Firemen softball game that PR maven Tobi Williams used to organize (the only time anybody ever counted me as a celebrity).

Brazilians, the Real Spenders

Trendy Style With Lacoste Polo in Lacoste Outlet.Ana Ligia Paladino traveled 5,000 miles from her home in southernmost Brazil last month to jostle for Black Friday bargains at Macy’s in New York City. Waiting in line by 5 a.m., she soon notched her first buys in a planned 10-day shopping spree.”It was a bagun?a!” she recalled, using a Brazilian expression that means both mess and mayhem to describe the scene.Brazilian shoppers are taking the U.S. by storm this holiday season, a welcome boost for U.S. retailers facing a sluggish economy. Armed with a strong currency, easier access to credit and abundant enthusiasm for shopping, Brazilians have quietly ousted richer nations, such as the U.K., as the biggest overseas spenders in key U.S. markets like New York City and Florida.

Some 700,000 Brazilians will visit New York City this year, more than twice the 2009 figure. That’s fewer than the British and Canadian totals. But Brazilians still outspend all other countries in the city, including Canada, the U.K. and Italy, New York officials say. In 2010, Brazilian visitors spent a total of $1.63 billion in New York City, topping the $1.42 billion spent by travelers from the U.K., the $1.27 billion spent by Canadians and the $1.1 billion spent by Italians, according to the NYC & Co., the city’s tourism board.Meanwhile, Brazilians became Florida’s most lucrative overseas shopper after Canadians by spending $1 billion in the first six months of the year, a 61% increase over last year and more than twice the second biggest spenders, the U.K.

“Brazilian shoppers are at the top of every retailer’s list right now, and if not, they are at the top of their wish lists,” said Fred Dixon, the senior vice president for tourism development at NYC & Co. The organization is lobbying Congress to speed the visa process for Brazilians, and eventually waive it all together, in hopes Brazilian spending will rise further.Brazil isn’t the only emerging market nation in U.S. retailers’ sights. The number of Chinese visitors to the U.S. has quadrupled since 2003 to more than 800,000. Though that’s still relatively few, considering the population of China, studies show that individual spending by Chinese visitors outpaces that of many Europeans.

Trendy Style With Lacoste Polo in Lacoste Outlet

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Cooler season is ideal time for girls’ getaway in Rehoboth Beach

After a marathon afternoon of bargain shopping at Delaware’s trifecta of outlet centers in Rehoboth Beach, I am having the kinks worked out of my shoulders, back and neck by a masseuse goddess at the Bellmoor Inn and Spa.For a moment my mind drifts to a few of the places I have yet to visit—the specialty boutiques, the liquor outlet stores and the beach—but all I can really focus on now is how good it feels to have my muscles slathered with aromatic oils and lotions and then tugged, pulled and squeezed. This is nirvana, for sure.Rehoboth Beach certainly has three essential ingredients for a perfect girls’ getaway: an abundance of shopping venues, boutique hotels that specialize in making guests feel ultra special and plenty of dining options. Oh, and Delaware has an added bonus that’s hard to find most anywhere—tax-free shopping (year-round and on everything).

October to March, when the crowds dissipate, is an ideal time to slip away for some indulgent therapy—be it retail or of the spa variety. Traffic along Rehoboth Avenue—the center of town—can be a true nightmare during spring and summer when crowds are drawn to the wonderful beaches, quaint shops and restaurants. However, life is so laid back at this time of year that the town covers parking meters and lets visitors park for free wherever they choose.What makes the outlet shopping here so enjoyable is that it is broken up into three Tanger Outlet centers located within a two-mile stretch on Route 1.

It seems that practically every major brand has an outlet shop in Rehoboth Beach. Between the Bayside, Seaside and Midway outlet centers, there are more than 130 stores offering apparel, accessories, footwear, housewares, food and other specialty items. Among the popular retailers: White House Black Market, Talbots, Hanes, Perfumania, Polo Ralph Lauren, Old Navy, Lucky Brand Jeans, Black and Decker, Juicy Couture, Jones New York, Corningware, Carter’s, Escada, Timberland, Kenneth Cole,  Coach, Icing and more. Most of the stores I visited were true outlets with deep discounts, but a few were more in line with what one would find at the mall.

Find Best and Valuable Lacoste Polo in Lacoste Polo Outlet

Find Best and Valuable Lacoste Polo in Lacoste Polo Outlet

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Casual Male Opens Big and Tall DestinationXL (DXL) Superstore in Columbia, MD

Casual Male Retail Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: CMRG), the leading retailer of men’s big and tall apparel, has opened a new DestinationXL store in Columbia, MD.  Located at the Dobbin Center on 6435 Dobbin Road, DXL is a new men’s superstore catering to the many fashionable needs of today’s big & tall man.DXL is a unique, all-inclusive destination offering over 2,000 styles under one roof from CMRG’s four existing apparel businesses, Casual Male XL, Rochester Big & Tall, Shoes XL and B&T Direct. The comprehensive selection of products is intended to appeal to the various lifestyles and socioeconomic groups across the big and tall market.

In a “one-stop-shop” environment, customers are willing to travel longer distances for a place that meets their entire apparel needs. DXL carries product assortments in big sizes XL-7XL, tall sizes LT-6XLT and waist sizes 38-64.Currently with 15 other locations in Fairless Hills, PA; Murray, UT; Phoenix, AZ; Atlanta, GA; Schaumburg, IL; Houston, TX; Las Vegas, NV; Memphis, TN; Westport, CT; Warwick, RI; Frisco, TX; Lewisville, TX; Denver, CO; Aurora, CO and Carle Place, NY, DXL stores offer a collection of good, better and best products merchandised by lifestyle. The Company plans to open another 20-30 stores during 2012 and approximately 100 stores over a four to five year period. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Furthermore, the Company recently launched a DXL website, DestinationXL.com, with a multi-channel solution similar to the DXL store experience.  DestinationXL.com, with state-of-the-art functionality, enables our customers to shop across all brands and product extensions with ease.”DXL is an emerging and innovative retail offering that is attuned to our customers’ needs and we are excited to open our latest store in Columbia,” says David Levin, President and CEO of CMRG. “Our customers seek choices, value, convenience and a unique shopping experience which DXL stores offer. We are confident that our success in other markets will be replicated here in Columbia.”

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Don’t get stuck inside this holiday season-head outdoors to the Lighthouse Premium Outlets in Michigan City where shopping is a festive experience. Snuggle up in a hat and scarf, grab a cup of hot chocolate, and let the holiday shopping be fun! Grab a bunch of your girlfriends and head out to over 120 outlet stores where you’re sure to find something for everyone on your list.The Lighthouse Premium Outlets boasts some impressive designers at significant savings. Favorite stores include the Coach outlet where handbags and other leather items and accessories can be found at a fraction of the price.

Whether it’s a starter handbag for a special teenager, or an exquisite patent leather piece to add to a wife’s luggage collection, the Coach outlet will get big hugs every time the gift is unwrapped.The Movado Company Store is also a wonderful option for those looking for something extra special this holiday, but it won’t break the bank. This fine Swiss watchmaker has been crafting quality pieces since 1881, including chronographs, bracelets in a variety of materials, and watch faces set with pearl and diamonds. You’ll find all the fantastic styles here.

If your recipient loves to cook, Lighthouse Premium Outlets has some exquisite cooking stores, such as The Chef’s Outlet, Corningware Corelle Revere, Kitchen Collection, Le Creuset, and Le Gourmet Chef. For shoes you’ll find Adidas, Aldo, Bass, Clarks Bostonian, Crocs, Ecco, Famous Footwear Outlet, Hush Puppies Merrell Sebago, Kenneth Cole, Naturalizer, Nike Factory Store, Nine West Outlet, Puma, Reebok, Rockport, Skechers, and Stride Rite Keds Sperry.

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