You know there’s a dearth of shopping options when excitement surrounds the opening of a J.Crew, but excited we are! The new Harbor East chain opens today and is at the base of the Legg Mason Tower on Katyn Circle, occupying about 7,200 square feet. (We’ll take some snaps today and share them tomorrow.) Anthrolpologie opens on Friday, across the way, at the base of the Four Seasons.
Courtesy Citybizlist — 2 Days Only! … Final Day – 70% OFF EVERY SUIT! 50% … OFF Every Dress Shirt and more … JoS. A. Bank Clothiers commercials are known for their call to action.
It seems that the sense of urgency hasn’t set well with a pair of erstwhile customers.
A class action complaint has been filed against JoS. A. Bank alleging that the retailer’s merchandise is “perpetually on sale and the sale price is actually the price at which the merchandise is regularly offered.”
James Waldron and Matthew Villani, both from New Jersey, filed the complaint in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (Case 2:33-av-00001).
JoS. A. Bank Clothiers said in a regulatory filing that it intends to “defend this lawsuit vigorously.”
Citybizlist procured the court document (scroll down to view it in its entirety) and has excerpted a few blurbs of the accusation:
– “Jos. A. Bank’s misleading, inaccurate and deceptive marketing cultivates the perception that consumer (sic) are being offered a discount from the Company’s regular prices when, in fact, they are not. Plaintiffs and the Class were intended to and did rely upon Jos. A. Bank’s representations when they purchased Jos. A. Bank merchandise. Plaintiffs and the Class would not have purchased Jos. A. Bank merchandise, or would have paid significantly less for the merchandise, if Jos. A. Bank had not represented that the merchandise had a “regular price” that was well above the “sale” price. As a result, Jos. A. Bank has handsomely profited from its misrepresentations to the detriment of Plaintiffs and the Class …”
– “Jos. A. Bank uses this method of advertising knowing that consumers would rely on the misrepresentation that the Company’s merchandise is on sale, creating a false sense of urgency to purchase Jos. A. Bank’s merchandise. Accordingly, Jos. A. Bank’s advertisements and promotions to sell its merchandise are perpetually false and misleading.”
– “Each advertised sale is described as being of a limited duration, thus creating the false impression that the price of the merchandise will increase back to the ‘regular price’ if a consumer does not make a purchase by the end of the sale. To increase a consumer’s sense of urgency about the expiration of the sale, Jos. A. Bank’s advertisements use expressions such as ‘Final Day!’, ‘2 Days Only!’, ‘Monday & Tuesday Only!’, ‘Today Only!’, ‘1-Day Only!’, ‘Final Hours!’, etc. As a result, consumers are misled into believing that the ‘sale’ is a limited time event. However, there are no ‘final days’ to sales offered by Jos. A. Bank, as the Company places merchandise back “on sale” immediately after a given sale ends.”
Waldron asserts that he would not have:
– “purchased Jos. A. Bank merchandise during the Class Period. At the time of his purchase, Jos. A. Bank marketed, advertised and promoted its merchandise as being ‘on sale.’ However, in contrast to the manner in which Jos. A. Bank merchandise was marketed, advertised and promoted, the merchandise purchased by Mr. Waldron was not ‘on sale,’ and the regular price was not the actual price of the merchandise, as represented. As a result of Jos. A. Bank’s misleading, and/or inaccurate, and/or deceptive marketing, advertising and promotion of its merchandise, Mr. Waldron suffered an ascertainable loss. Had Jos. A. Bank informed Mr. Waldron at the time of his purchase that the merchandise he purchased was not ‘on sale,’ and that the merchandise did not have a ‘regular price’ that was well above the ‘sale’ price. He would not have purchased the merchandise or would have paid substantially less for the merchandise that he purchased.”
Courtesy of Bmore Media – Sure, there’s usually a Target nearby and plenty of parking.
But that doesn’t mean suburbanites aren’t lacking in some retail offerings.
Many county residents were just as vocal as their counterparts in the city in expressing what they want in their neighborhoods. An independent coffee shop, IKEA, an ice cream parlor and a healthful café are on their wish list.
“We have a Starbucks in the Woodholme Shopping Center, but that’s pretty much it,” says Pikesville resident Daniel Waldman. Pikesville, a Northwest suburb in Baltimore County, is anchored by Reisterstown Road.
Courtesy Bmore Media – Fells Point residents want to let their dogs off the leash. Locust Point lacks a full-service bakery. Bolton Hill residents hope to one day walk to a grocer.
Baltimore City’s neighborhoods are continually evolving, and, after years of recession, development is picking up speed. New restaurants line downtown’s Pratt Street and South Baltimore is now home to upscale grocer Harris Teeter.
But there are still businesses and services lacking—and residents who long for them.
Some requests are far-reaching, while others are in the works. Whether it’s a large retailer or a neighborhood mom-and-pop shop, Baltimore City residents agree on one necessary factor—convenience.
Where’s the bakery?
“I miss Simon’s,” laments Locust Point resident, Kaitlin McCormick, referring to the “hole-in-the-wall” Cockeysville bakery that she frequented while living in Baltimore County. “On a Sunday morning, I want a warm cinnamon bun or and apple Danish or maybe even a raspberry kuchen. The grocery store just doesn’t cut it.”
The now-shuttered Caroline’s Cupcakery and Harvest Table seem like possible bakery locales. An Under Armour representative says that it has not been determined how Harvest Table’s space will be used as the organization expands.
Last month we saw some job growth, on the order of 115,000 new jobs nationwide. Now we know some of those new jobs must be in Baltimore. The Bureau of Labor Statistics let us know where they are.
Temporary help services showed some of the largest growth last month, which is good. When I was looking for work a couple years ago, I called up one local temp agency and before I could explain my skills I was told there were “no jobs.”
Employment opportunities are also showing up in retail. Rite Aid is even going to hold a career fair tomorrow to look for store managers and shift supervisors. If you have an affinity for building materials and garden supplies, you may be in luck; places like Home Depot and Lowe’s Home Improvement have been among the retail stores taking on the most new hires.
Health care employment also picked up, but mostly outside of hospitals. The website for Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, for example, lists 69 openings.
And if these three areas aren’t your thing… I don’t know, keep playing Mega Millions or something.
Lululemon, MAC Cosmetics, J. Crew and Anthropologie are all about to open at Harbor East, our HE retail insider tells us. The official announcement will come in the next few days. We’d heard rumblings about the openings before, but now we can say for certain. We will let you know more details once we learn more!
I love Harbor East. The Landmark, Sassanova, Cinghiale, Patrick Sutton and now the glistening new Four Seasons all have the power to bring my staid suburban self downtown on a regular basis. You’d think that would make me happy, but noooo! I want more! I want a destination where I can while away a full day with a little shopping, eating, drinking and onto more shopping. So far, Harbor East is more of a half-day kind of place.
Changes are rife, however. We’ve already reported that Anthropologie is in Harbor East’s future. As excited as I am at the prospect of stocking up on mustard yellow day coats, I am delighted to learn there are more stores on the horizon.
We promised not to name names, but we hear that a certain preppy chain, known for its classic with a twist look (used to be in the Gallery at Harbor Place…how many more hints can I give you?) and a cosmetics store whose fans include RuPaul and Lady Gaga, are very close to closing the deal on setting up shops there.
I love what this development means for the future of Harbor East. It’s a stamp of approval that reads “viable retail market.” Hopefully, along with more national chains, it will attract smaller independent stores to round out the shopping landscape.
Now I can see the perfect downtown day-trip taking shape: a day of shopping ending in a makeup application for a big night out! Now if only there were a great hair salon too? (Wink, wink, we hear that’s in the works too.)
When Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour launched Fashion’s Night Out in 2009, the industry revival initiative centered mostly in New York, with smaller echoes in major hubs like Los Angeles and Miami. Since then, the September celebration of fashion has taken off throughout the country, and this year, its official presence will be felt in Baltimore.
This Thursday, September 8th, the city’s retailers will join the fashion retail promotion with after-hours events to encourage customers to get shopping. Marking the Baltimore’s inaugural official participation, the non-profit Baltimore Fashion Alliance will host a celebration at the Harbor Court Hotel with up to 40 Baltimore-based designers, manufacturers, and retailers on display.
The BFA is also encouraging retailers city-wide to remain open after hours, and many retailers have taken note. Downtown, Cupcake Boutique will be selling the official FNO tee-shirts and will feature a Black Halo trunk show as well as giveaways and added shopping incentives. Fells Point’s Babe A Boutique is offering 10% off all merchandise store-wide. Across town in Towson, The Shops at Kenilworth will join the festivities with in-store events, cocktails, and discounts throughout the shopping center. At Towson Town Center, stores will display trunk shows, refreshments, and shopping incentives. What’s more, the mall will put on a fashion show and offer exclusive giveaways, prizes, cocktails, and cosmetic bars. At Green Spring Station in Lutherville, Fresh! Boutique will host a daytime Lionette trunk show from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. The shopping center will also stay open until 7:00pm with champagne and treats.
Reports have been mixed regarding whether Fashion’s Night Out has been a financial success in years past, but there is no question that as far as brand recognition and foot traffic, FNO is tremendously powerful. The official presence of the initiative in Baltimore should prove to be at least a new way to tackle fall shopping, if not a shot to the arm to the local fashion retailers.