Photo credit: Chris Rupert
On July 4th, I joined my friend Ayanna for an impromptu shopping trip to Lakeforest Mall in Gaithersburg, Md.
When we got there, we ventured into jcpenney, which media recently reported is on the brink of collapse. But yesterday, what I found was a pretty amazing department store filled with fab! Here are five things I discovered, which might surprise you.
1. Haute Home Decor
Maybe it’s just me but I’ve never been excited by department store Home departments. jcpenney may have changed that. I was pleased to find Jonathan Adler, Martha Stewart and Pantone collections on the lower level of the store. They’re fresh, vibrant and so now. See more here.
2. Amazing Beauty Buys
In 2006, Sephora opened locations in jcpenney but I never took the opportunity to browse or buy in the department store. Yesterday, I discovered that the experience is pretty much the same–or better. It’s spacious, all of the great brands are there, and they also accept the Beauty Insider card. Browse more here.
3. Fashion Brands & Icons We Adore
Lulu Guinness, Mango, Nicole Miller are big names in fashion. Yesterday, I found their collections at jcpenney–accessible to the typical retail shopper. Vibrant hues, patterns that pop and on-trend style caught my eye. I especially loved the LULU handbags and MNG summer dresses.
4. Pocket-friendly Prices
Sure, department stores have a reputation for being somewhat pricey. Yesterday, jcpenney proved to be affordable. Maybe it was because I shopped during the July 4th sale but I definitely walked away a happy shopper. With two Jonathan Adler throw cushions, a rug and a giant lantern in hand, I spent just $40. For coupons and offers, click here.
5. Wow-worthy Shopping Experience
Three things define a great shopping experience for me: friendly and helpful staff, a clean and tidy store, and appealing merchandising. The jcpenney at Lakeforest Mall had all three. The tech-powered checkout process on the lower level was also super cool. One observation: the store seemed understaffed (maybe because of the holiday?) but to their credit, whenever we asked for help, we got it with a smile.