To call The Body Shop a mere skin and body care store is to miss half of what makes it special. Late founder Dame Anita Roddick was a pioneer for ethical business practices; upon opening her first store in Brighton, England, in 1976, she developed company values such as "Defend Human Rights" and "Protect The Planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while ultimately expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in over 60 international markets. After her death in 2007, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, ?She campaigned for green issues for many years before it became fashionable to do so and inspired millions to the cause by bringing sustainable products to a mass market. . . . She was an inspiration.?
Indeed, the Body Shop exhibits an eco-friendliness and social consciousness that's hard to come by in a company of its size. Its products have been fair-trade since 1987, and its Against Animal Testing movement led to an EU-wide ban of animal testing of cosmetics. The products are made from ingredients harvested from around the world: shea butter from Ghana goes into body scrubs and butters, and Indian artisans craft wooden massagers and tote bags that are screenprinted by hand. But all that isn't to say the company's production practices overshadow its final products. Skincare treatments such as the brand?s iconic body butters, facial products, and gift collections often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, Lucky, Seventeen and other national publications.
Since opening in May, Crestwood Catering & Deli has been packing custom and specialty deli sandwiches with fresh fixings, cheeses, and meats. Custom Woodys sandwiches headline the extensive menu, starting with a foundation of a roll, wrap, or white, whole-wheat, rye, or pumpernickel bread. The Tribute BLT ($7.75) deviates from its traditional fillings, adding an avocado and a fried egg to its culinary trio and doing for the sandwich world what the addition of Simon and Garfunkel did for Hanson. Sub captains update a lunchbox classic by searing thick bologna before painting it with roasted peppers and speckling it with provolone cheese (a $6.99 value); with tomato, cucumber, and dill havarti, the egg-salad-and-smoked-salmon sandwich (an $8.99 value) spawns currents of sophisticated flavor. Fountain-style Pepsi products round out the meal with carbonated pizzazz (a $1 value each).
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.
In almost 30 malls sprinkled across four states, Beauty Plus Salon beckons prospective makeover recipients with a fleet of skilled stylists and a colossal selection of professional beauty products. "The beauty industry never slows down," staffers say on Facebook, so "neither do we." That's why mall-goers find Beauty Salon open seven days a week. Between the retail shelves that average 500 nail polish colors, clients get gussied with services that pamper hair, skin, and nails.
Expert stylists take over when dealing with tresses, shearing and styling locks or adding pintura highlights to springy curls. Elsewhere in the salon, waxing specialists can remove mustaches and cleave unibrows in twain. Aching feet dip into the soothing waters of a whirlpool tub before an exfoliating sea-salt scrub whisks away dead skin and calluses, leaving silky heels in its wake. Deft, strong fingers knead soles and tired calf muscles, and polish brightens each toenail. During the luxury spa mani-pedi at Evo Salon & Spa, nail technicians also gussy up fingertips with Shellac lacquer and coddle hands worn out from high-fiving every statue in a museum.
Serio's Market draws customers with a broad selection of gourmet goodies and household products. Peruse the store's well-stocked shelves to ogle first-rate foodstuffs from cookies and crackers to strip steaks and sausages, all containing the power to imbue every mealtime chew convention with the tabletop fireworks of a disco candelabra. Prepared sandwiches include a store-cooked meatloaf sandwich served on one of nine different breads and dressed with veggies, condiments, and cheeses ($4.29), and specialty sandwiches such as The Bull's Eye, which uses a combination of roast beef, barbecue sauce, and sharp cheddar to hit hunger with a precision blow ($4.99). Fresh-made salads, oven-roasted chicken, and piping-hot pleasures such as shepherd's pie ($4.49 lb.) are also available to keep busy family-feeders from resorting to time-efficient but unpopular dishes such as rice 'n' ketchup or beans a la yogurt.