Since 1964, Guitar Center has paired musicians with guitars, keyboards, drums, Pro Audio gear, and necessary accessories, including DJ and recording equipment to capture newly made melodies. An iPad music-stand adaptor ($39.99) connects an iPad to a music stand, allowing musicians to access online programs and music apps on-stage, or to publicly dedicate a song to their online Scrabble partner. A clip-on tuner ($29.99) keeps notes pitch-perfect, and Guitar Center’s array of sheet music produces a wider variety of sounds than singing from a thesaurus, with options that include the C-surfing The Real Blues Book ($31.49). Stitch tighter harmonies by threading notes onto Slinky guitar strings ($3.79), or use the value of today's Groupon toward a larger purchase, such as the Epiphone Les Paul Special II guitar ($169–$179.99). Guitar Center rounds out its collection of gear with Pro Audio and DJ equipment, keyboards, and drums, allowing every band member or solo cymbal player to stock up on their chosen form of expression.
Wine shop and wine bar WineStyles stocks more than 225 wines, most of which are from small- and mid-size producers from around the globe. It takes the guesswork out of pairings, labeling all the bottles with their unique flavor profile—or Wine Style—so customers know which wine goes with which food dish. For those who want expert help, the knowledgeable staff works one on one with each customer to find a wine to suit their tastes. Customers can also sample a selection of 20 wines at the tasting bar, purchase wine by the glass, or purchase more than 20 specialty and craft beers from around the world.
Vino aficionados who love to regularly try new wines can take advantage of WineStyles’s two wine clubs: the Taste Club and the Learn Club. The Taste Club offers customers two wines per month selected by the chief taster. The Learn Club offers them three per month. Club members pick up their bottles each month at the shop, where they can relax in wine clubs’ club house.
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, organics and naturals, 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 2013 alone, the company donated more than $4 million to charitable organizations.
LaBella Intimates' owner, Santa LaBellman, dubbed the "Bra Whisperer" by Orange Appeal magazine, tempts eyes with her boutique's collection of lacy, silky, and frilly underthings procured from European and domestic designers. Santa, who is concerned that many women wear the wrong bra size or traffic cones under their shirts, offers complimentary fittings to match bosoms with cup sizes ranging from A cup to K cup and band sizes ranging from 30–50. The shop primarily carries brassieres and underwear from European brands Kris Line and Panache, but Santa also stocks playful pajamas from Fleurt and Affinitas and smoothing shapewear by Yummie Tummie. After slipping behind the dressing rooms' black-and-white brocade curtains to try on their chosen wares, shoppers stand beneath the glow of a chandelier at the front register to take possession of their new lingerie.
Since its humble beginnings in 1935 as a small health-food store that specialized in yogurt, GNC has evolved into the world's largest specialty retailer of nutritional products. The chain's more than 4,800 retail locations throughout the country stock numerous vitamins and supplements, all of which meet the company's strict standards for truthful labeling, ingredient safety, and product potency. They carry supplements that aid in sports nutrition, protein intake, diet, digestion, and beauty. Equally as dedicated to customers' shopping experiences as it is to product quality, the company created GNC University, an online learning platform, to help staff members bone up on nutrition and fitness knowledge. The knowledgeable sales associates field questions about everything from weight-management plans to stacking supplements for optimum earlobe strength.