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.
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.
Ed Jenuwine began selling cigars in 1947, and his brothers John, Jim, and Lee joined him shortly thereafter. In the years between 1947 and 1988, they moved their shop to three different locations, all within two blocks of the house they grew up in. Today, the cigar empire they built operates out of locations in Troy and Sterling Heights, both of which feature humidors larger than 2,000 square feet and are stocked with thousands of different brands of cigars. Both boast comfortable smoking lounges with large televisions and WiFi access to give puffers a peaceful place in which to blow smoke rings, relax, or summon the ghost of Groucho Marx. The Sterling Heights location also sees bartenders pouring 78 types of scotch and other libations and hosts live music on Thursday and Friday nights.
Magdalena Cap's training as an aesthetician began more than 33 years ago in Czechoslovakia, where she studied dermatology and cosmetology. Three years later, the licensed aesthetician opened her own spa, where she has continued providing European-style facials and spa services for the ensuing three decades. Magdalena is joined by a loyal staff of licensed cosmetologists, massage therapists, nail technicians, and electrolysis experts, many of whom have worked with her for more than 10 years. The staff undergoes continuing education in an effort to ensure that all of their facials, peels, and rejuvenating treatments take advantage of the most advanced techniques. Like a park ranger building a nest, the team also draws on a wide range of natural ingredients including pumpkin and seaweed.
In defining their style, men often have to choose a side: functionality or self-expression. Bachrach, however, fuses the two together with a collection that is equal parts dressy and casual. Established in 1877, Bachrach has been outfitting men for the biggest interviews of their lives or just fun nights out on the town with a diverse and versatile lineup of suits, dress shirts, ties, and pants. Beyond that, the company leaves no detail unnoticed by maintaining an equally robust selection of accessories. It includes cufflinks, tie bars, and even cologne so guys don't have to borrow a friend's or stuff their pockets with fresh-baked cookies just to smell good. With 36 locations in 15 states and a bustling online store, Bachrach makes browsing its collection quick and simple.
CUSP, a sister boutique of Neiman Marcus, lines its shelves with apparel and accessories that set wardrobes afire with the flames of fashion. Labels range from trendy (J Brand) to ultra chic (DVF). Protect your hands from atmospheric wear with a pair of ivory knit mittens with a faux fur lining ($44), slick up kickers with zebra-print fleece welly socks ($40), or stand out in a Amanda Uprichard red silk dress ($194). Torsos, which threaten secession whenever they're not dressed in classy duds, can be appeased with a Phillip Lim 3.1 tank ($95), a black burnout linen piece with a racerback and the words "cool," "easy," and "nice" on the front.