In 1965, Popular Mechanics ran a small classified ad for Brookstone, a new catalog company that packed its pages with functional products and detail-oriented descriptions. Brookstone quickly expanded to meet the high demand for its collection of “hard-to-find tools,” and opened the door to its first retail location in 1973. Today, Brookstone’s more than 300 nationwide retail locations allow customers to test-drive its ever-growing lineup of interesting products, which range from Bluetooth-enabled massage chairs to power adapters designed for international travelers and their electronic passports. Staying true to its roots as a catalog company, Brookstone houses an even larger selection of products, each waiting patiently to be shipped, on its website.
Within a spacious showroom brimming with stylish-yet-functional furniture, La-Z-Boy’s knowledgeable staffers and design experts work tirelessly to help shoppers select accoutrement suited to their individual tastes. To do so, they harness the in-store Screen Test system, which allows patrons to envision the store's signature recliners and sofas in a full spectrum of fabrics and colors. A fleet of harmonizing furnishings—including tables and ottomans—make any room a home’s most popular one, guaranteeing it a date to the basement’s prom.
The warm staff at Sleep Comfort by Nerlands invites people to laze about a showroom boasting more 50 mattress sets on a quest to find the dreamiest dream pad. Utilizing the technology of the Sleep Metrics diagnostic system, the scholars of slumber match weary people with mattresses, including classic duos of foam mattresses ($215) and basic innerspring mattresses ($248) with box-foundation counterparts. The pocket coils of the queen-size Luxury model Simmons Beautyrest ($677–$887) offer snoozers a night of support and comfort akin to crowd surfing on an audience wearing cashmere oven mitts. As a purveyor of Boyd Natural Flex Latex mattresses, Sleep Comfort by Nerlands introduces allergy-suffering clients to this bacteria-resistant bedfellow and its unwavering resistance to dust mites. Knowing that a good night’s rest is important to physical and mental well-being, Sleep Comfort guarantees blissful slumbering for 60 nights.
Inside its colorful storefront, Metro Music & Book Store stocks an extensive collection of previously-read fiction and nonfiction, nestled alongside rows of folk, rock, pop, hip-hop, and blues albums. Many of Metro Music’s publications sell for at least half off the cover price ($8 on average), so even relatively new releases are within the reach of frugally minded book worms. In the music collection, color-coded sections allow for easy genre-based browsing for the most mind-melting cuts and the grooviest subliminal messages (CDs start at $8.98). To give a newfound book a quick scan, customers can hang out at the in-store Café Felix, a laid-back spot to sip on daily roasted coffee, snack on crêpes, and read a best-selling novel about a talking vacuum cleaner that becomes UN Secretary-General.