This spring, locals voted The Hen 'n The Ivy the favorite florist in the Avon Patch annual poll. The family-owned flower and plant shop takes pride in their friendly customer service and fast delivery—they can deliver flowers the same day they're ordered. Inside the aromatic shop, they bundle blooms into seasonal bouquets or themed arrangements for special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries. Flowers and tropical plants can also sprout from decorative pots and dish gardens, making them ideal for long-lasting gifts that say "congrats", "thank you", or "I'm sorry I bought you a head of broccoli last year."
Regardless of which of the hundreds of Target Portrait Studio locations you meander into, you can always count on a similar experience. Tucked into Target retail locations throughout the nation, each studio boasts a staff of professional photographers, premium lighting equipment, and advanced digital cameras. The seasoned crew takes pains to customize photo sessions to suit each customer's vision, setting up desired backgrounds and props before guiding families and high-school seniors through a mélange of poses. Afterward, customers will work with a professional to personalize their portraits with different special effects and styles, such as black and white or sepia tone. They then pick up their physical portraits at the studio in 7–10 days. If they don't feel like holding their breath that long to see the final products, they can access the images in an online gallery within 24 hours of the session, at which point they can order extra prints for gifts, collages, and greeting cards.
One of the East Coast's best-known members-only wholesale retailers, BJ's Wholesale Club serves more than six million members in 201 clubs as far west as Ohio. Within these sprawling locations, savvy shoppers knock out most of their errands in a single stop. In the same visit, members can stock up on economy-sized groceries–including USDA choice meats, farm-fresh produce, and everyday essentials–grab name-brand electronics, get their vision checked at BJ's Optical, and even plan a vacation through BJ's Travel. Each service makes up a single part of the club's well-rounded retail experience, but simplifying shopping isn't BJ's Wholesale Club's only goal; in 2012 alone, the company donated more than $3.2 million to charitable organizations.
Gordon and Anya Kwan are the owners of Avon Ballroom, a 5,000-square-foot facility outfitted with two ballrooms, a lounge, and an onsite boutique. At Avon Ballroom, they lead classes in a variety of ballroom styles for dancers of all ages and skill levels, whether they’re dancing for fun or fitness or with professional ambitions. Their sessions include private and group instruction, as well as fun dance parties that allow students to mingle, socialize, and test out new movies in a fun atmosphere. Their onsite store also outfits students with appropriate dance attire, shoes, and costumes.
At Playground World, children slide, soar, and bounce through a safe and spacious party room packed with playground equipment. For two hours, up to 14 adventurous tykes can frolic unbridled aboard Woodplay Play Systems, wooden forts, climbing walls, monkey bars, and swing sets. Netted trampolines offer safe springing, and a series of Goalsetter basketball hoops unleash each child's inner Kareem Abdul McFly. Parents can stash their own refreshments in the party room's refrigerator, ensuring that ice-cream cakes won't turn into milkshakes. Playground World requires one adult for every four children attending the birthday party to help ensure safe play and to officiate arguments over who gets the corner slices of cake. Groupon customers should adhere to the party guidelines.
The staff at New Balance isn't concerned with simply selling shoes—their mission is to pair customers with the footwear that will carry them comfortably through life’s arduous steps. Understanding that an ill-fitting pair of athletic shoes can cause pain to joints and potentially damage knees, hips, and the back, associates measure the length and width of each client's foot and conduct a gait analysis to chart the trajectory of their stride when walking normally or running through ball pits. The data are collected to help the staff match clients with their ideal shoe, keeping them running longer and looking good while doing so.