I swore in January that I wouldn’t move again for a long time. But about six months after I got to Los Angeles, I found myself moving again. This time, the Loft store where I work part time relocated to another shopping center down the street.
The new store at the Waterside shopping center in Marina Del Rey is designed to look like your dream closet with built-in shelves, wooden hangers, pedestal tables, modern mannequins, and shoes and accessories featured throughout. The new image is boutique-like, yet also welcoming and friendly. The most exciting thing about the new store: We carry shoes!
The Waterside shopping center is designed like a town center, with lots of yummy restaurants (including Pinkberry) and outdoor seating areas for grabbing lunch. It even has a Counter burger, where Kenley can grab a beer if he has to wait for me to get off work.
The days leading up to the grand opening were dubbed truck week. The trucks were bringing us all-new store sets and merchandise, so we weren’t supposed to need anything from our former location. Except, of course, we realized we did. So four of us walked the several blocks and hauled back two clothing racks, which were too big to fit in the back of anyone’s trunk. Got my workout for the week, and that was just day one.
Day two, the clothes arrived. I was assigned to the “style closet,” which features a round black table with stacks of sun-washed T-shirts. I must have unpacked and carefully folded hundreds of T-shirts. The edges had to be crisp — no lumps of fabric — and each had to be stacked and perfectly aligned 15 shirts high. I promised not to injure the first person to pull the medium size from the middle of the stack.
Day three was spent focusing on merchandising the clothes and accessories. I worked with the jewelry displays, and one of the regional managers for visuals showed me how to combine textures and colors to tell a story, making each piece look special and relevant. (The cool part about the move is that I got to take home one of the mannequins from the old store. I attempted to use the same techniques to display my own jewelry.)
By late afternoon on day four, we were ready to test the cash registers. I had the honor of ringing up the first customers — fellow co-workers who got to shop before the store officially opened.
I was scheduled to work a closing shift on opening day so I, of course, ended up refolding all those T-shirts.
Here is what’s in my online shopping bag from the Loft summer collection:
Coming soon: I got a sneak peak at the Fall 2011 collection, and I’m really excited about it. The collection features flared jeans rather than skinny ones and an awesome pair of wedge ankle boots!
(Any opinions in this blog post are mine alone and do not represent the opinions of Ann Taylor Loft.)