Make us your home page
Instagram

Everyone needs an occasional dose of retail therapy

I discovered the personal power of retail a few years ago. I was having a bad week — okay a bad quarter — and decided I needed a quick shakeup.

I tried my usual attitude adjusters. Girls' night out. Calls to mom. Publix Neopolitan with lots of chocolate syrup.

Then I got serious. Nordstrom.

On a Saturday afternoon, I beelined to International Plaza with one plan in mind: to buy a killer pair of jeans.

The clerk was happy to oblige. She had seen it before. Retail therapy might not be approved by the American Psychiatric Association, but it works — and hopefully doesn't require Kleenex.

A few try-ons later, I was at the register with my answer to Cymbalta. A perfect pair of Hudsons. Full priced, which I usually never pay.

Fast forward to today. I don't remember the $175. But I still love those jeans.

I relay this story, partly in jest, to underscore people's emotional connection to shopping. It gives us the stuff that surrounds our lives. Every purchase makes a statement about who we are and want to be, no matter what the size of your wallet.

Really, shopping is a matter of national importance, which I say in my deepest, most official voice. Consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of economic activity and is considered an important indicator of the country's financial health. The numbers are hard to grasp. Retail sales were $4.7 trillion in 2011, according to the latest annual report from the U.S. Commerce Department.

That's a lot of jeans.

Shopping — and other ways we spend money — will be the focus of this new column, titled What's in Store. Expect news about store and restaurant openings, profiles on businesses and commentary about retail trends.

I'll toss in good deals as I find them. Of course, I welcome suggestions, and I'll buy lunch for anyone who tells me first where Trader Joe's is opening in Tampa Bay.

• • •

In the spirit of things that lift your mood, I'll start with Sloan's Ice Cream, which is expanding to the Tampa market. This West Palm Beach-based ice cream and candy shop plans at least four area locations within the next year.

Dubbed "where the elite meet to stuff themselves,'' Sloan's is known for its whimsical pink walls, huge stuffed animal collection and glass bathroom doors that fog up upon entry. Check out these flavors: Scout's Honor with mint ice cream, Girl Scout thin mint cookies and chocolate chunks. Or Coffee & Doughnuts with coffee ice cream and loads of Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts.

A year seems like a long time to wait. No word yet on specific locations. Sloan's has plans for 200 stores nationwide.

• • •

If happiness comes to you on a bone, Famous Dave's barbecue is planning 10 new locations in Florida, including the Tampa Bay area. Famous Dave's has a location in Fort Myers and another opening this fall in the Estero area.

Famous Dave's has won more than 600 awards for its ribs, barbecue sauce and ''scratch-recipe cooking.'' Its barbecue is slow-cooked over smoldering hickory wood in pit smokers. Publicly traded on the Nasdaq (DAVE), it has 186 locations in 35 states. It used to have a restaurant in Clearwater, but it closed in 2008.

• • •

And speaking of comfort food, Burger 21 opened a New Tampa restaurant last week at 20304 Trout Creek Drive in the Trout Creek Commons off Bruce B. Downs Boulevard. It's the fourth for the "beyond the better burger" fast-casual concept founded in Tampa in 2010. Go for the burgers but splurge on the signature shakes. The Key Lime Pie and Ybor City Double Espresso just might be worth the calories.

• • •

Popular clothing retailer H&M last week opened a store at Tyrone Square Mall in St. Petersburg, Tampa Bay's second following its local debut at International Plaza. Up next: a store at WestShore Plaza.

Everyone needs an occasional dose of retail therapy 09/17/12 [Last modified: Monday, September 17, 2012 10:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa Bay cools down to more moderate home price increases

    Real Estate

    The increase in home prices throughout much of the Tampa Bay area is definitely slowing from the torrid rate a year ago.

    This home close to Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa sold for $3.055 million in August, making it Hillsborough County's top sale of the month. [Courtesy of Bredt Cobitz]
  2. With successful jewelry line, Durant High alum Carley Ochs enjoys 'incredible ride'

    Business

    BRANDON

    As a child Carley Ochs played dress up, draped in her grandmother's furs.

    Founder Carley Ochs poses for a portrait in her Ford Bronco at the Bourbon & Boweties warehouse in Brandon, Fla. on September 19, 2017. Ochs is a Durant High and Florida State University graduate.
  3. At Menorah Manor, planning paid off during Irma

    Nursing Homes

    ST. PETERSBURG — Doris Rosenblatt and her husband, Frank, have lived in Florida all of their lives, so they know about hurricanes.

    Raisa Collins, 9, far left, works on a craft project as Certified Nursing Assistant Shuntal Anthony holds Cassidy Merrill, 1, while pouring glue for Quanniyah Brownlee, 9, right, at Menorah Manor in St. Petersburg on Sept. 15. To help keep its patients safe during Hurricane Irma, Menorah Manor allowed employees to shelter their families and pets at the nursing home and also offered daycare through the week. The facility was able to accommodate and feed everyone who weathered the storm there. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  4. After Irma, nursing homes scramble to meet a hard deadline

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida's nursing homes and assisted-living facilities find themselves in an unfamiliar place this week — pushing back against Gov. Rick Scott's administration over new rules that require them to purchase generator capacity by Nov. 15 to keep their residents safe and comfortable in a power …

    In this Sept. 13 photo, a woman is transported from The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills as patients are evacuated after a loss of air conditioning due to Hurricane Irma in Hollywood. Nine have died and patients had to be moved out of the facility, many of them on stretchers or in wheelchairs. Authorities have launched a criminal investigation to figure out what went wrong and who, if anyone, was to blame. [Amy Beth Bennett | South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP]
  5. Trigaux: How Moffitt Cancer's M2Gen startup won $75 million from Hearst

    Business

    TAMPA — A Moffitt Cancer Center spin-off that's building a massive genetic data base of individual patient cancer information just caught the attention of a deep-pocketed health care investor.

    Richard P. Malloch is the president of Hearst Business Media, which is announcing a $75 million investment in M2Gen, the for-profit cancer informatics unit spun off by Tampa's Moffitt Cancer Center. Malloch's job is to find innovative investments for the Hearst family fortune. A substantial amount has been invested in health care, financial and the transportation and logistics industries.