I am a pretty snooty shopper having worked at high end retailers in the past. Actually I was a high end retailer in the past, having owned a boutique for a number of years. I was trained in the strictest standards of excellent customer service so I am definitely a shopping snob. Not to people of course since that’s not nice, but I will say crappy things ABOUT a store if I have a bad experience. After I leave. To lots of people.
When I first heard that Topshop was coming to Chicago I was excited as I had heard great things about them. The retailer had it’s beginnings in 1964 London in the basement of a department store. From that humble start the company has grown to 400 stores internationally but only two in the US: New York and Chicago. It’s a great sign for the city that we were chosen for their second US location. Chicago needs this type of retailer as we look to become a major force in fashion again.
I studied their website to look at the clothing but admittedly was afraid to go in. I am not the gal that dresses like her daughters; I like to look age appropriate. So for my first visit, I felt a bit intimidated. The greeter at the door made me feel welcome as I’m not used to anyone even acknowledging my presence in stores these days.
Inside the store which is three floors is an overwhelming selection of clothing, an amazing shoe department and the best accessories department I’ve seen in a long time. The top floor houses Topman, their department dedicated to male fashionistas. There is always music playing and they add a special touch with a DJ on the weekends. It’s definitely the hippest place to shop on Michigan Avenue.
The best feature of the store however is their personal shopping department. This is how I discovered that I can actually shop there and go home feeling great. The shopping suite is beautifully decorated with private, spacious fitting rooms. You are offered drinks and snacks and all you need to do is tell the shopper what you are looking for; what you like and they take over. You can either walk with them through the store or they bring everything to you.
I chose to walk with the shopper and was shown styles that I never thought I would be able to pull off. I was assured that I should trust her and try it. The skirt and top she chose for me took fifteen pounds off of me the minute I put it on. She chose a style of jeans for me. I was hesitant to try a “skinny jean” as I have a shall we say, a healthy derriere. Voila! Large derriere looked smaller. (Husband told me to go back and buy them in every color!)
The average price point at Topshop is $80. Some higher, some lower. The fabric qualities are fabulous as did I mention I am a fabric snob too? When you work in high end retail you learn to appreciate fine fabrics when you feel them. I can close my eyes and touch two fabric choices. I will always know the expensive one. Yep, snob. Topshop fabrics? Tops.
In a time where good customer service is hard to find, this was a fantastic shopping experience. Staff was helpful and even acted grateful that I made a purchase. They were very sincere about making sure I was happy and felt comfortable with what I bought. I’ve already been back and can’t wait to go again. And again and again…..
This isn’t my typical blog but retail therapy is supposed to be just that; therapy. And that it was.