I wanted to see the hubbub first-hand, so I joined the throngs of crowds checking out the brand new Mayfair Collection today. The parking lot was packed, but the two stores I visited werenâ€™t too chaotic. And once things settle down a bit, Iâ€™m sure Iâ€™ll be back.
I only visited Nordstrom Rack and Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, because when it comes to Old Navy or Ulta, once youâ€™ve seen one, youâ€™ve seen them all. Nordstrom was swarming, but with tons of employees in neon green shirts setting up mini kiosks, it was tolerable.
To cut to the chase, I loved it. While it felt like a nicer TJ Maxx, the logical layout of high-end brands like Hugo Boss and John Varvatos mingled with more mid-range offering from Calvin Klein and Michael Kors. Yes, you can find some of this stuff around Milwaukee, but certainly not at these Kohlâ€™s-eque prices. The men's shoe selection was especially aggressive, and I walked out of there with an Italian dress shirt and funky oxford shoes for around $80.
A few doors to the north, we visited Saks Off 5th, which was understandably less crowded â€“ because itâ€™s way more expensive. While I enjoyed the free popcorn and the DJ, this is certainly a more "special occasion" sort of store. The $700 suits, $100 polos and $4,000 watches are quite a bargain, all things considered, but not in my shopping budget for today. I did see a few $50 shirts from Saksâ€™ house brands, but even as an outlet store, this place is very upscale.
Still, Iâ€™m delighted â€“ as is most of Milwaukee, according to the traffic â€“ that the area finally has these stores. Iâ€™m sure when Iâ€™m not shopping at GILT or MyHabit.com, Iâ€™ll be visiting Nordstrom Rack for my work wardrobe.
And Iâ€™m sure the traffic will calm down soon. Itâ€™s obvious Milwaukee can finally support these chains, and itâ€™s great for the re-imagining of this area. Even with the Brewers shirts on sale at Nordstrom Rack, Milwaukee is now a bit more stylish â€“ at prices our frugal citizens will appreciate.
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