Parents can rest assured their kids are playing safely at Diverzion Kids. For one, the climate-controlled play arena keeps children active and occupied even if the outdoors are made inhospitable by pouring rain or sweltering heat. Also, the staffers keep a watchful eye on sock-footed moppets as they gambol on bounce houses and slides, but just in case they blink, a security camera system serves as a backup measure. Meanwhile, birthday boys and girls celebrate with the friends in private rooms and regular visitors clamber around obstacles and rack up high scores in the arcade.
Thanks in part to Miracle on 34th Street, the classic Christmas film, and its annual Thanksgiving Day Parade, Macy's has been immortalized in the minds of generations of Americans. It's hard to imagine that Macy's was once a small storefront operation founded by a businessman whose previous stores had failed. But success was just around the corner.
Eleven dollars and six cents. That was the total of first-day sales when Macy's opened its doors in 1858. Of course, at that time, it wasn't a retail superpower—it was a small dry-goods store on the corner of 14th Street and 6th Avenue in New York City. Before founding that little shop, Rowland Hussey Macy had suffered several failed retail ventures. This time, things would turn out differently.
By 1877, R.H. Macy & Co. had become a full-fledged department store, spreading its way into the ground spaces of 11 adjacent buildings. Just about 25 years later, the store had outgrown even those expanded confines, so the company moved to its iconic Herald Square location on Broadway and 34th Street. There, Macy's began to attract shoppers from the rest of the country and the world. This location also saw the store become a major part of American holidays, especially in 1924, when immigrant employees wrangled the city's packs of stray floats and organized the first annual Macy's Parade.
Today, Macy's boasts 850 locations across 45 states and US territories. A far cry from that initial dry-goods shop, the modern-day stores carry everything from clothing and shoes to furniture and electronics. Though it is now headquartered in Cincinnati, the company's flagship store in Herald Square still attracts throngs of customers from all corners of the globe. The same can be said for the Macy's website, which is one of the most visited retail destinations on the Internet.
The Christmas Palace first opened as a seasonal business idea 20 years ago. Today, the expansive holiday department store receives waves of visitors year round who stroll amid more than 30 styles of faux Christmas trees, shelves full of elegant ornaments, and novelty items such as a 38-inch Santa swinging on a hammock. Collectors stock up on train sets and Department 56 village-collection pieces, and gift givers load their sleighs with goods from Fontanini, a business that began sculpting nativity scenes more than 100 years ago in Italy.
Since opening more than 40 years ago, Tuxedo Center has been outfitted countless patrons with stylish formalwear. Designer tuxes and suits from Ralph Lauren, Jean Yves, and Christian Dior populate the shop with a range of cuts, sizes, and colors. Tuxedo Center makes the renting process easy by offering hotel delivery, group discounts, and free tux rentals for grooms with an additional five rentals.
Mers Optical's locations in Hialeah West is chock-full of designer frames well suited for all manner of face shapes and personal styles. Independent doctors of optometry administer thorough eye exams, passing the results off to lens grinders who churn out single-vision, bifocal, and progressive lenses and fit them into frames from the likes of Lacoste, Ray-Ban, Fendi, and Mr. Potato Head.
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.