At more than 1,000 Mattress Firm locations around the country, shoppers sink into plush mattresses, recline on firm beds, and belly-flop onto pillow tops. Knowledgeable staffers can help customers create an ideal bedtime environment by dispensing advice based on sleep preferences and illuminating the difference between the many kinds of mattresses. And to the delight of their customers, much of Mattress Firm's bedding wears the label of a premium brand, such as Sealy, Serta, Simmons Beautyrest, or Stearns & Foster.
Authenticity is key at E-Collectique Runway Boutique, where every previously owned dress, necklace, and satin pump is marked with a verified designer or vintage label. Pristine white walls surround high-fashion women’s wares that range from items from current lines to vintage pieces that date back more than a century. Shoppers can peruse clothing and accessories from couture designers such as Balenciaga, Chanel, and Gucci, as well as ready-to-wear styles from makers such as American Apparel and Ralph Lauren.
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.
The Exclusive Company—a Wisconsin-bred music-and-movie retailer—has given the gift of song since 1956, earning a Best of Milwaukee award from Shepherd Express readers in 2011. Passionate staffers guide visitors toward sprawling collections of rock and jazz and bins brimming with DVDs, Blu-Ray discs, and loose 8mm slides from Kenny G's summer vacation. In addition to peddling new vinyl releases such as El Camino by the Black Keys and Revolver by T-Pain, the shop functions as a trading post, helping to find loving homes for preowned films and music. All used discs are carefully buffed into shape before meeting their new owners, and each comes backed by a money-back guarantee, which promises store credit if a preowned item exhibits biting tendencies. Most used CDs, DVDs, and vinyl cost less than $20.