For 39 years, family-run Oak Tree Furniture has collected an array of cherry, oak, maple, pine, and upholstered furnishings, including American-made and Amish-built items, inside a 36,000-square-foot showroom. Residents can cool freshly baked oat loaves atop a 12-inch oak bakers rack ($185), piece together a puzzle with their kids atop a five-piece painted children’s table ($169), or prove their vampire-free lineage by revealing their reflection in a standup Cheval mirror ($171). Newborns feed their hunger in a sturdy, solid-oak high chair ($145) and listen to tales of a simpler time while swaying back and forth in a rocking chair ($199). Oak Tree Furniture’s staff works commission-free to ensure a pressure-free visit and service geared to enhance each customer's experience.
Every person runs with a unique gait, and thus requires a unique shoe to keep their stride even and their posture straight. The staffers at Feet First?in business for 35 years and staffed with all experienced runners, triathletes, or coaches?understand this, and they spend their days helping runners find exactly the right shoe to meet their needs.
In addition to conducting a visual analysis of each customer's feet and gait, they use an iSTEP computer-analysis system to detect important information not visible to the naked eye. This system analyzes the points on the foot that endure the most pressure while running, and then can even make orthotic recommendations based upon that information. But it takes more than a good pair of shoes to maximize a workout's efficacy, which is why the store also sells orthotic inserts, fitness apparel, and socks that tickle you if you try to slow down.
A parade of fixtures from brands such as Kohler, Moen, and Grohe tempts kitchen and bath savants at The Somerville Showroom. An Aqueous single-hole bathroom faucet shoots a steady flow of water into waiting basins ($111.07), and a Kohler Cachet elongated toilet seat snaps off easily to be cleaned or used as an emergency Frisbee ($59.30). Alternately, a polished chrome Kohler Flipside showerhead caresses soul cases with four different flavors of spray—a traditional shower, a dense and drenching spa mist, a pulsating water massage, and a circular-patterned spray ($95.30). Homeowners can also bring along detailed plans of a bathroom or kitchen remodel, and knowledgeable staff members can advise which faucet finishes will complement countertops or pink-and-red Hello Kitty color schemes.
One of the East Coast's best-known Members-only wholesale retailers, BJ's serves more than six million Members in more than 200 Clubs as far west as Ohio. Within these sprawling locations, BJ's helps provide more selections to savvy shoppers looking to 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, and even plan a vacation through BJ's Travel. Each service makes up a single part of BJ's well-rounded retail experience, but simplifying shopping isn't BJ's only goal; in 2012 alone, the company donated more than $2.2 million to charitable organizations.
Modern showrooms outfitted with numerous appliances, electronics, and furniture from renowned brands welcome customers to DIrectBuy of Lancaster's home-improvement shopping experience. Though the shop may resemble many national retailers with its helpful staff and expansive stock, it bears a noticeable difference—the products are priced fairly below the standard retail suggestion and only come to life when you're not looking. The lower prices are made possible by DirectBuy’s partnership with their manufacturers, reducing shipping costs and eliminating retailer markup. Lancaster’s DirectBuy has softened blows to wallets for more than 40 years, and also reduces cost to customers via online orders.