The beauty advisors and aestheticians at Merle Norman Cosmetics and Spa work with popular brands including OPI, Footlogix, and an in-house line that has been featured in publications such as Town & Country. Part spa, part storefront, their space functions as a destination for everything from skincare products to facials and makeup applications for special events or breakfast dates.
It might be hard to believe considering its vast array of products, but Sears, Roebuck and Co. began with one accessory: watches. In 1886, Richard W. Sears bought a box of unwanted watches from a jeweler, thinking he could turn a profit by selling them. He was correct and committed to the watch business by hiring Alvah C. Roebuck, an experienced watchmaker.
As time went on, though, their business expanded its umbrella far beyond what people wore on their wrists. Sears became known as the place to shop for almost any appliance, from sewing machines to those magical boxes that create water from nothing and clean your clothes.
Today, the stores stock clothing, accessories, electronics, kitchen equipment, tools for outdoor living, and home decor. This variety is sustained by Sears's proprietary brands—Kenmore, Craftsman, and DieHard, to name a few—and other national names that populate the shelves.
Despite what its name might suggest, Hair Formations focuses on more than just the locks on top of your head. The family-owned and operated business provides a vast range of salon, spa, and tanning services. That's especially true of its Hubertus location, where you can enjoy skincare treatments, spray tanning sessions, and more than five different types of massage.
In the late 1920s, the Great Depression was rendering most Americans professionally and financially paralyzed. But in a small California kitchen, Merle Nethercutt Norman was putting a plan in motion to formulate her own skincare products and share them with family and friends. She truly believed in her formulas, knowing that by getting them on as many faces as possible, she would develop a following of customers. She was right—within a few years she and her nephew were opening their first studio in Santa Monica, and they eventually unveiled a series of independently operated stores that enabled women to take ownership during a time of gender-based limitations such as men-only restrooms.
Today, in approximately 2,000 stores across three countries, the three basic principles of Merle's original vision still apply. Each studio is independently owned and fosters an in-depth knowledge of the company's own line of makeup and skincare products. Just as Merle shared her creations with close friends and sallow mannequins more than 80 years ago, today's aestheticians embody the business's "try before you buy" philosophy. A menu of complimentary studio services—from foundation checks to express facials—allows patrons to sample the lauded brand before committing to the purchase of products or full spa treatments.
The stylists and aestheticians at the full-service Salon West and Body Works Spa aim to make clients feel beautiful, empowered, and worthy of every minute of pampering. They perform a variety of services to help purge minds and bodies of impurities, from microcurrent facials to acne-clearing scrubs. The salon?s master stylists shampoo and blow-dry hair before sculpting it into busts of George Washington, and steady-handed nail technicians tend to hands and feet with luxurious manicures and pedicures.
With more than 386 locations dotting North America, JCPenney Optical's ubiquity is matched only by its extensive selection of contact lenses and designer frames that includes brands such as Armani Exchange, Liz Claiborne, and Nicole Miller. Despite this wide reach, all lenses are cut at the same optical laboratory, ensuring a consistency of quality and a pretty good idea of where to look if your glasses run away from home. Each location has an independent state-licensed doctor of optometry, who can perform vision exams and help clients determine which type of vision correction will work best.