I love the specials this store runs. They've combined them before where I've gotten piles of books for a whole lot less than I expected. I say piles because I usually buy several copies of the same title at once. But as far as variety, there's just not enough to fully impress me. I do find an occassional good read that I've been looking forward to, or a stack of hard to find childrens books, but this is not a place to go when you need to find something at any price - it's a place you go to when you're hoping to find something at a good price but aren't counting on it.
I went to the Hanna Andersson outlet last month to look for a winter coat for my son. We're talking October in Minnesota. Where are the coats?? Hanna is known for the high quality, fun patterned, warm coats that they sell, and I was looking forward to buying one for my son. All they had to offer was ONE single style in two different sizes, none of which were even close to my son's size. They had almost nothing in his size in the whole store, which was equally aggravating. One good thing, though, was that the gals behind the counter were helpful when trying to help me find something I wanted, and apologetic when I didn't. Another perk was the Brio train table available for children to play with while parents shop - what a lifesaver for a two year old who likes anything with wheels! I'm hoping that this place will get better since they're fairly new to this location.
I went to Trade Secret to get ready for our family Christmas photos and had a very good experience. I have no sense of style and what looks good. Everywhere I go, I ask stylists to share their thoughts with me, but no one seems to want to - I don't know if they're afraid I will get mad or what. I went to Trade Secret and surprise surprise, I got an answer this time! I was game for her suggestions, so we did them, and it looked GREAT! I was also thrilled with their prices - a cut and color was way within the "reasonable" realm as far as I was concerned - I was prepared to pay close to double what I was charged. I will be back!
We love Shinders - they have everything! Need an obscure magazine? They likely have it. Need Magic the Gathering? They've got boxes and cases full of singles and packs. Comic books? You've come to the right place! I don't know if they still do, but every time I've been to the Crystal location they've always had tons of previously viewed VHS and DVD, usually with some sort of incentive deal. I like this place because you can look without running into everything - finally a store with space big enough for their stock!
I've given Maranatha Storehouse several chances, but I just don't see it as worth my time to drive over there anymore. The childrens clothing looks like the 80's threw up a whole bunch of rags. The adult section is better, but barely. Housewares are tossed willy nilly, and toys are thrown about in such a way that it's impossible to tell whether anything that had parts still had all of them. The books are outdated, and many are trashed. I also find it odd that they don't carry any secular fiction books - all the other Christian based thrifts I've seen stock them, so I just wonder why they don't. The prices are high and rarely is there anything worth the prices they're charging.
Creative Kidstuff has many great toys for sale - toys that require imagination and thinking, unlike many offerings at the "mart" stores these days. However, I went just the other day and wandered around the store several times over searching and searching for something they just didn't end up carrying. It isn't organized QUITE logically enough for me to find what I need or know right away if they have it. Another con is the prices. I'm familiar with MSRP's for several of the items they carry, and I'm certain their prices are higher than retail. On the plus side, there are many display model toys out for the kids to test drive and play with while you shop. Gift wrapping is available.
I had a coupon for 10% off my purchase at Cloth, so I went to check it out. Perhaps I'm too used to getting deep clearance prices on designer goods post-season, but yowsa, the prices here are way beyond me. My 10% off wouldn't even make a dent on clearance prices. On the plus side, the store itself was pleasant and looked more like a retail clothing store than a consignment/used clothing store. And they carry some nice things - their strict adherance to designer goods only ensures that they have quality items to choose from. But wow - bargain hunters need not apply.
Pro: they have a TON of comic books. Cons: they organize the new releases in some sort of odd way so that you have to look at every single book twice just to find that they're out of what you're looking for. Somehow, even though they have the appearance of having every comic book known to man, they always seem to be out of whatever we're looking for. Pro: you can have them hold comics for you as they are released. Con: there is a minimum number of series you must subscribe to in order to participate (I think it's 4 or 5). They do have a nice selection of Magic The Gathering cards, and the singles are organized in 3 ring binders in card slots so they can be located easily. They are a bit pricey, though.
My husband would LIVE here if he could. They have an absolutely humongous selection of role playing games, comic books (both mainstream and obscure), movies, books, and just about any game true gamers would want. The main thing I do not like about this store is that they have SO much stuff, you can get a major case of claustrophobia if you're there too long. It's a great place to go, though - the staff knows what you're looking for even if you don't, which is great if you're the wife buying for the gamer!
Oh wow - this place has AWESOME chicken wings. The portions are HUGE and there are many unique flavors to choose from. I can't rememberr the exact name, but there is a flavor involving ginger, and it's my favorite. My husband loves the ones called something like Gold Rush - Gold something, anyway - they're very good as well. For a bar, it's actually pretty clean - I was impressed. It has your standard rickety tables, sports on tv in every corner, and smoke that you'll find in any bar, but the wings are worth it. Come on in and pig out!