Monday, December 6, 2010


Lord & Taylor, colloquially known as L&T, or LT, based in New York City, New York, is the oldest upscale, specialty-retail department store chain in the United States. Concentrated in the eastern United States, the retailer operated independently for nearly a century prior to joining American Dry Goods (later renamed Associated Dry Goods Corp.). Today, the chain is the sole surviving department store nameplate from Associated, as well as from May Department Stores. Lord & Taylor is wholly owned and operated by NRDC Equity Partners. NRDC bought the chain from Federated Department Stores in October 2006 as Federated sought to concentrate on the Macy's chain after their purchase of May Department Stores (with all other former May department store nameplates having been converted to Macy's), and because the Lord & Taylor brand conflicted with Federated's Macy's and Bloomingdale's brands.
Following its acquisition of Lord & Taylor, NRDC Equity Partners has since acquired Hudson's Bay Company in Canada. In 2008, NRDC's portfolio of retail companies became components of a new multinational limited partnership, Hudson's Bay Trading Company, L.P.
Lord & Taylor consists of 48 stores and

Over two months ago, I went to visit my son in Boston, Ma. For the first time visiting him, I decide to go to Lord & Taylor  Department store.  The selection of clothing was fantastic.  I found 2 beautiful tops and a pretty sweater for a  great deal that was to good to be true. I got 25% off with the friends and family coupon for the sale that was going on those days.
 I found out while over there, that Lord and Taylor  is opening a new store soon.
The 48-unit chain announced  that it has signed on for an 80,000-square-foot, bi-level store in Yonkers, N.Y. The new site, set to open in 2012, will be part of the Ridge Hill outdoor shopping center currently under construction by Forest City Enterprises.

“Westchester's Ridge Hill is the perfect location for Lord & Taylor to further service our southern Westchester customers, and I am encouraged by the business potential for this store,” said Brendan Hoffman, Lord & Taylor's chief executive, in a statement.
The 1.3 million-square-foot Ridge Hill center also includes Whole Foods, L.L. Bean, Sephora and The Cheesecake Factory.
The last store the 184-year-old department store opened was in the Landmark Mall in Alexandria, Va., in 2001.
Recently, Lord & Taylor made headlines by announcing they would be entering the off-price outlet market. The company, which is owned by Hudson's Bay Trading Co., also recently spent more than $20 million renovating its Fifth Avenue flagship, brightening the main floor and adding new departments such as home furnishings and bridal apparel.
Though department stores have been continually losing market share to specialty apparel stores—last year, sales in the sector fell 11% to $67.1 billion, the biggest drop since 1987, according to Kantar Retail—the sector has recently shown signs of a turnaround. Over the Black Friday shopping weekend, traffic at department stores increased to 52% of all retail foot traffic, compared with 49.4% last year, reported the National Retail Federation.
But retail experts do not predict a mad rush by Lord & Taylor and its department store peers for more space.
“Across the retail landscape, department stores included, there's going to be very limited opportunities for store expansion and new store openings in the next few years,” said Mary Brett Whitfield, a senior vice president at Kantar. “Any new department stores will be the exception not the rule.”
She noted that most stores are looking for alternative growth strategies beyond domestic real estate expansion. Such strategies include a greater emphasis on e-commerce sites, additional development of new concept stores, and advancement overseas.

Monday, November 8, 2010


When Internet pioneer began doing business in 1995, eager analysts forecast a day when people would sit around all day in their pajamas, relying on their computers to order everything from dog food to groceries. Many consumers would see little reason to venture out to the shopping center and visit an actual store, I am predicting.
More than a decade later, online stores have become an established part of the retailing world but those early predictions appear unlikely to ever pan out.
In the next five to 10 years, those who are already comfortable shopping online are likely to grow even more so, funneling more and more dollars to Web sites as they continue to increase the number and amount of products they buy online, I say.
That’s the good news for online merchants.
The bad news: The bulk of the people who haven’t already dabbled in online retailing are likely to stay on the sidelines, I say. That’s going to make it harder for companies to continue the ultra-rapid pace of growth they experienced in the early, halcyon days of the online retailing boom.
“Pretty much, most of the people who are ever going to be buying online are online,” I say . “From the standpoint of behavior change and big shifts in adoption, it’s happened and it’s done.”
I am expecting online retailing to dip below double-digit percentage growth rates sometime by around 2012, and to plateau at some future date after that.

At this point,  also expect that traditional, store-based retail will continue to dwarf online retailing. Forrester Research expects U.S. online sales to grow from $132 billion in 2006 to $271 billion in 2011 — but still to comprise just 9 percent of overall retail sales.
Still, online retailers do have growth potential, especially if they work hard to improve their game in the coming years, analysts say. Most mainstream retailers maintain a Web presence, but many of those online shopping experiences are woefully inadequate.
“I hardly think that retailers have done everything that they can do to make sure that they’re getting (what they can) out of the channel. “There’s still a lot of mistakes being made, still a lot of basic oversights.”
The problems that I have faced included Web sites that don’t include enough information about a product, such as detailed pictures, a size chart or accurate measurements. Many also aren’t good enough at maintaining up-to-date information about things like product availability, further alienating a loyal audience that might like to devote more of their shopping dollars to the Web.
“They want to use the channel, but they can’t always use the channel as much as they would like because the information isn’t there”.
As more companies solve those problems in the coming years, I think there will be opportunities to boost sales especially in areas such as home products, clothes and cosmetics.
 Also I see an opportunity to revive an online retailing trend that failed spectacularly in the early days of the dot-com boom — online grocery shopping. While groceries will remain a small part of the overall market,  such Web sites could do more to appeal to affluent, busy people, such as working moms.
Retailers also have another incentive to improve their Web-based sales arm. Even those customers who opt not to purchase many items online are expected to increasingly turn to their computers to research items including cars houses or even engagement rings.
As online retailing growth slows, I believe stores will gain a competitive edge if they can get better at integrating their online and brick-and-mortar operations.  I see already, some stores are experimenting with things like ordering online for in-store pickup, or offering a limited assortment in stores combined with a wider online selection.
A trip to the mall or a downtown shopping center is — and will remain — a form of entertainment for many Americans. Still, I think, that’s not the only thing keeping people from shopping online. Even  now many remain wary of turning over financial information to online retailers, or unsure of whether they will receive the product on time, in the right color or even in one piece.
“It’s more trust,” I think.
That’s one reason I believe the outlook for online retailing would perk up considerably if new technology were developed that gave people the ability to much more easily mimic the real-life experience of, say, touching or trying on a product. Unfortunately for technology geeks, however, the ability to do something like conjure up a life-size hologram of a coffee table in your living room is, for now at least, not even on the horizon.
“Online is very convenient (and) it has a lot of offer,” I say, “but there’s certain things I am going to want from a store.” Like: Personal service and and a friendly smile!!!!!


Southern California's Finest Shopping Mall, Fashion Island Newport Beach, Offers Something for Everyone…………!!!!!
Fashion Island is home to Orange County's shopping experience. With modern and innovative architecture, live vegetation and dazzling water features, I can find what I am looking for while enjoying a shopping experience like no other. Located next to Newport Beach, Fashion Island is conveniently placed within minutes of a huge amount of activities. Whether I want to take advantage of the nearby beach, local art events, theme parks, museums or other activities, Fashion Island Newport Beach is close to it all.
With over 200 department and specialty stores to choose from, I am able to find everything that caters to my home, office and wardrobe needs.  My special stores are the small boutiques where the service it is much greater and you get to see familiar faces.  The other day when I went to buy some tops on my favorite boutique, Natalee, the sales person was amazing on showing me the latest items on the store!  She was very sensitive to my needs and taste; and was able to pull out a selection of tops and sweaters that were too difficult to decide which to buy.   I always ended it getting more of I was planning for.    The uniqueness is so nice that I get so excited to see them all then when I try them on me, I must have them!  Usually if I go  there with my girlfriends or sisters, we ended up with at least one item the same each.  The store is very good on selecting the inventory so their clients feel like they are dressing from an exclusive store and the items that they purchase are not easy to find somewhere else.   For us, that it is a plus, not only for the quality of the garments but also for the design itself.   Wearing something that no everyone has make you feel as a really “fashionista” and that you have your own style or line of clothing.  On today’s economics, manufactures are trying to stay in the same price by lowering the quality of the product so people still can afford it.  I think in a way this is a good idea but this make this difficult to find originality in the closing for those like us that like to accomplish more designer look than mass reproduction.  I am hoping that this will eventually change.

Next I can sit down and relax at any of our 40 unique restaurants or take in a movie at one of the two spacious Edwards Cinemas theatres located at Fashion Island.
If I am looking to spend a day with someone, there are a number of entertainment options available at Fashion Square even the little ones will enjoy, such as visiting one of the movie theatres or taking a ride on the carousel which features 39 enchanting animals. For an educational experience,  I like to take a look at the great art exhibits in the area or enjoy the many special events held throughout the year.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Downtown 2.0: Santee Alley

Is Santee Alley L.A.’s most fashion-forward shopping strip?

Santee Alley is unlike any other stretch of pavement in Los Angeles. Nearly 20 feet wide, it drops for three blocks through downtown’s Fashion District, from Olympic south to Pico.  The alley supports  more than 200 merchants, immigrants who hail from Kenya, Lebanon, Korea, Pakistan, Vietnam, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Israel, Mexico, and Egypt. At around one every afternoon the Senegalese drift from the alley’s mouth on Olympic for daily prayer. Santee gets the same foot traffic as Santa Monica’s 3rd Street Promenade and is so cramped and loud and visually exotic, it can remind visitors of medinas in Fez or Tripoli. Its shops don’t have front doors; they have metal shutters that roll up into the ceiling. Because of this, everything that goes on in the alley seems open and obvious.

In fact, Santee may be the most mysterious three blocks of public activity in the city. It is known as a twilight economy, an all-cash engine fueled by the largest assemblage of counterfeit fashion merchandise in the country. At the moment, the handbag in highest demand there is a fake Coach, but you can find bogus goods with the names Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Rolex, Levi’s, and Gucci. Santee is also famous for its knockoff fashions—a jacket that’s a dead ringer for the latest from Marc Jacobs or a dress that’s nearly identical to a summer style by Diane von Furstenberg. Store owners from the Philippines and Saudi Arabia fly into LAX empty-handed, purchase several suitcases at one of the alley’s many luggage shops, stuff the cases with counterfeit Prada sunglasses and Rolex watches, and then fly home, where they claim the merchandise as their personal belongings to avoid duty fees.
Most visitors, however, are local. The majority are Latino immigrants and their families, but you will see German tourists, Highland Park slackers, even Beverly Hills matrons who tour the area in limousines. Women in their twenties shop the alley because it is as important and exciting as Melrose Place on Black Friday. On a recent afternoon my girlfriend Alexandra and I were browsing the shop of an Egyptian named Mustafa, who was in a business transaction with a Korean wholesaler that was quickly going south. Mustafa is large and middle-aged, with soft, almost vulnerable eyes. His close-shaved head exhibits a sheen in the sunlight, like a religious dome, and he wears rectangular Dolce & Gabbana frames that build structure into his moon-shaped face.
“What about the $9 you already owe me?” Mustafa questioned his wholesaler. Four boxes had just arrived, and the Korean was trying to explain the bill, which was for $472.
“I do not owe you $9,” answered Mustafa’s visitor, looking affronted.
“Yes, you do.”
“No, I do not.”
While the two bickered, an assistant of Mustafa’s would occasionally pop over to slip a pair of sunglasses onto the Korean, whose red, blotchy face seemed to get a lot of sun. Yet every time he glanced in the mirror, he’d return the frames. “My head is too big and ugly for sunglasses,” he said.
As with a lot of shop owners on the alley, Mustafa works seven days a week, often from eight in the morning to eight at night. Because of the alley’s foot traffic, Santee’s rents can exceed  those of Beverly Hills, running as high as $15,000 a month. Mustafa’s shop, which is found immediately north of the corner of 12th Street, sits on the busiest and most expensive block. Five thousand dollars a month will get just 300 square feet. South of 12th, on Santee’s least expensive block, the same amount can secure 1,500 square feet. Landlords squeeze their properties for income—from one original business, the building that houses Mustafa’s store has been divided into 33 rental spaces—and so shop owners, in turn, must squeeze their own walls. Competition for space is fierce, and fistfights have broken out over a single contested inch. The alley looks like a retail district, but a fifth of the profits in shops is earned from sales to wholesale buyers, who take merchandise to sell in their own stores.
Shops like Mustafa’s buy from 30, 40, even 50 manufacturers a month to keep their shelves and tables stocked with everything from blouses to CDs to fake beer cans where you can hide your pot. Mustafa sells handbags, backpacks, blankets, luggage, and sunglasses. He named his shop Moose because it is his nickname and because he has always loved animals. Its sign is a drawing of a moose’s head in profile, one you might see hanging above the entrance of a rural fraternity lodge.
Merchants on the alley are famously tight-lipped. “Even I don’t know what goes on down there,” told us Elisa Mermelstein Keller, whose family has owned buildings on the alley since the ’70s. Keller thought the odds were against locating someone to speak to me. “Because of the paranoia,” she said, “no shop owner will tell you the story of the alley.” Then I met an LAPD officer , who has patrolled the alley for two decades. He recommended Mustafa to me as being an aboveboard businessman, vouching for his trustworthiness. After a 20-minute negotiation that covered such topics as why I would want to talk to him, why he would want to talk to me, where and when he could talk to me, and whom he might find to talk to me instead, Mustafa and I finally agreed to sit down  at a nearby Starbucks. But first he needed to settle the $9 debt.
“OK,” said the Korean wearily. “I owe you $9. The bill is actually $481.”
“No,” said Mustafa. “It is $463.”
“Exactly,” said the wholesaler, smiling as if the idea were his all along.
Finally, I got to learn more about The Santee Alley from a great source!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


If you would ask someone to describe me, they would say that I am a warm-hearted, happy, friendly bubbling Latina.   A confident person that believe in loyalty, honesty, and commitment.    Someone that  it is caring, fair and trustworthy.  A good daughter, mother and friend.   A person that would be there in the good and bad times.  Open minded, understanding, compassion, supported, respectful and  given.

A fashionable woman with conservative values and morals.  Down on earth, reliable that enjoy personal and spiritual growth.
 A consistant and persistant  person when it comes down to accomplish her goals.

I deeply believe in doing good deeds without expectations.
To be fair, honest and modest in all situations as much I can.  To conduct  myself with kindness toward others regardless  the others actions.  I am  grateful for God’s blessings to me and  for the people in my life.
 I like to live a peaceful life and to help the ones in need as much I can.  To be forgiven and not justice mental as much as possible.

In the time to think about changing myself ; I would like to improve in the following areas:
To be less emotional and sensitive about others words or actions
To be kind but to draw boundaries so others give me respect
To be more patience and understanding
To be more accepting on others choices
To be goal oriented
 Less demanding to others on my needs
To be more independent, hopeful and confidence about myself

It is important to me,  my family values and beliefs
My spirituality teachings and beliefs in my dairy life
The social standards
 My moral beliefs
To see the goodness in others rather than the flaws
To treat others the way that you want to be treat
To be able to endure God testings in life

To be moderate or justly balanced.
To Enjoining what is right.
Forbidding what is wrong.
“If one of you see something bad, he should change it with his hand; and if he is not capable of that, then with his tongue; and if he is not capable of that, then with his heart, and is the weakest form of faith”

I expect myself to follow these because I want to become a better member of the sociality.   To conduct a more spiritual balance life so where ever I am at others will think of me as a good positive person and I want to
 leave a unbelieveable  memorable honest impression.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Today a classmate from my architectural class and I meet for lunch at Captain Mauris restaurant in Del Mar Avenue, San Clemente.

It was a beautiful sunny day so we decided to sit outside at the patio.

I went to order first; I was not very hungry so I looked at the salads selection. I really had a hard time deciding because they have a great selection to offer. Then of course I ordered my favor drink; their home made honey strawberries lemonade! I just love this wonderful combination!! It is a must!!

The lady in the cashier was super fast; she really knows how to deal with the large crowd that goes there during the lunch hours. She has the expertise and knows how to handle her position and make the customer feels welcome. The service it is amazing!!

After me, Adam, my classmate ordered his lunch and experienced the same service as I did!!

We sat and before we knew a sweet friendly waiter was bringing out orders to the table.

Half way to our lunches; the manager approach us to ask if everything was good and if we needed anything else!!

I feel, that by going to a local small-operated restaurant you would get better service and a familiar smiling face!!!
I think that definably you would enjoy your meal much more this way!!!!!

Bon Appetite!!!!


Last week my girlfriend and I took a trip to Punta Cana, Dominic Republic for a week. This beautiful  spot was amazing with  paradise beaches!!
While I was over there I decided to do some shopping in the small strip of local vendors  by our hotel.  These small shops were so cute and  inviting!!

I entered one of them to look around the items for sale,  the sales lady approached me with a beautiful friendly smile!. I asked her for the prices of some of the bracelets for sale.  And then before I knew I was  buying more items that I planned. Marcial, the sales lady was very sweet and pleasant to deal with.  She enjoyed my personality as well.  We really head off and I ended up  making a package deal with several items that I wanted to purchase as gifts.  I really enjoyed her positive and energetic technique of selling!!
In the ended t Marcial and I have became friends and we ended up talking about our lives on two opposite worlds!!

I definitely would be back to Punta Cana and who knows  then I might have lunch Sweet Marcial! as well!!!