The Creepy Science Behind Why You Love Target So Much

why you love target

The mind games are real, people. | iStock/Kasahasa.

It’s no secret Target has our hearts — with those colorful housewares, punchy desk supplies and racks of bathing suits priced oh-so-perfectly, how can we resist? Center City certainly can’t, with people nearly lining the block in anticipation of Target’s new location opening this summer. Target is what my mom calls a ‘$100 store,’ meaning you can’t just pop in for one thing — you’re definitely dropping at least a Benjamin while you’re there, even when you have no intention of doing so.

But why is it that Target has such a hold on us (and our wallets)? Is it the mascot dog with the cute bullseye? The mini sale section in the front? That deliciously sinful, buttery popcorn? We sought out local experts — retail analysts, psychologists, professors at some of the top fashion programs in the world — to help us crack the code, revealing the science behind why you love Target so much. Their answers were insightful, surprising, and, well, downright creepy.  Read more »

Three New Stores Announced for KOP Expansion

King of Prussia rendering

A rendering of the new King of Prussia mall addition.

The King of Prussia Mall expansion continues on schedule, and the mall addition that will (finally!) connect the Plaza and the Court is starting to take shape. Today, mall owner Simon Property Group announced three new stores that are coming to the King of Prussia Mall sometime in late summer.

Headlining that list is Superdry, the U.K.-based outfitter that combines American-style fashion with nonsense Japanese script (really, it’s all gibberish) plastered on its outerwear. Read more »

Wawa Is Planning Even More Center City Expansion

Wawa - 19th and Market - rendering

Rendering courtesy Wawa

Reversing an old trend, Wawa is making a big push into Center City.

Today is Wawa Day, celebrating the anniversary of the first Wawa convenience store’s opening on April 16th, 1964, in Folsom. Free cups of coffee are given to patrons chain-wide. As such, a line of corporate heads — as well as Mayor Jim Kenney and sports media personality Howard Eskin — were on hand at the Wawa flagship store at Broad and Walnut to pour the ceremonial “first cup of free coffee” and make some major announcements. Read more »

How I Chose the 50 Best Shops in Philadelphia

Scouting Shops

A peek at some of my research.

I’ve been covering the Philly shopping scene for over six years now. I consider many of the city’s shop owners to be a particular sort of friend — we don’t chat on the phone or hang at each other’s houses, but I’ve worked with them for so long I’ve grown to love them. And I adore pretty much all of the boutiques that make up our indie shopping scene. You can imagine, then, that picking my 50 favorites was akin to naming a favorite child: How could I possibly choose?  Read more »

City Sports Brought Back to Life by 30-Something Wharton-Grad Brothers

The former City Sports location at 1608 Walnut Street (Photo by Jared Shelly)

The former City Sports location at 1608 Walnut Street (Photo by Jared Shelly)

City Sports is back from the dead.

As you might recall, City Sports liquidated all its assets and closed all 26 locations nationwide — including three in the Philadelphia area. The company filed for bankruptcy in October and was unable to find a buyer willing to keep the stores open.

But in that bankruptcy liquidation, Brent and Blake Sonnek-Schmelz bought the brand, logo and website — and have their eyes set on a complete re-launch including e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores. Read more »

City Fitness Opening New Gym (and Juice Bar!) on Fishtown’s Frankford Avenue

City Fitness's new Fishtown location | Photo by Adjua Fisher

City Fitness’s new Fishtown location | Photo by Adjua Fisher

Get this, you guys: City Fitness is setting up shop on Frankford Avenue in Fishtown, and they’re building a brand new gym that will have — wait for it — a TREE growing in the middle of it. Like, planted in the freakin’ ground of the gym. I can’t be the only one whose jaw drops at the thought of that. Read more »

Meet the Philly Ad Agency Promoting “Joy,” the Brand Behind the Movie

"Joy" and Joy.

“Joy” and Joy.

Rarely does a brand have such a prime opportunity to go from niche retailer to household name. But such is the case for Joy — the brand of mops, steamers, pillows and other household items created by founder Joy Mangano.

Not only was she played by Jennifer Lawrence in the film Joy, but Lawrence just won a Golden Globe and got nominated for an Oscar for her performance. If that weren’t enough, Joy-the-brand is in the midst of a huge rollout in the full footprint of TargetBed Bath & Beyond, Container Store and Macy’s locations. Some stores like Target and Macy’s are even creating store-within-a-store concepts that will basically be their own “Joy” sections.

So Joy and her company went on the hunt for an advertising agency — and chose Philly’s Red Tettemer O’Connell + Partners. In January, RTOP just launched an ad campaign including TV commercials, digital ads and social media posts. If it’s successful, Joy could become the next Martha Stewart or Rachel Ray. If it fails, the business will likely remain most visible on the Home Shopping Networkwhere Joy has been selling products for years. Read more »

Walmart Closing Hundreds of Stores

Tupungato /

Tupungato /

For years, Walmart seemed to be a company in rapid growth mode. With 11,600 stores worldwide, there seems to be a Walmart close by no matter where you are. But the business is apparently feeling the pain of online shopping and the rise of retailers like Amazon because today it announced plans to close 269 stores worldwide and 154 in the United States.

But never fear Walmart shoppers, there aren’t any closures in Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Delaware.  Read more »

Real Powerball Winners: Merchants Selling Tickets

A person purchase Powerball lottery tickets from a newsstand Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016, in Philadelphia. Players will have a chance Wednesday night at the biggest lottery prize in nearly a year.

As of now, three winning Powerball tickets were sold for last night’s historic $1.5 billion jackpot. However, these three lucky (or unlucky, depending on your thoughts on the lottery curse) people aren’t the only ones raking in cash due to the overwhelming interest in the lottery.

Local ticket retailers were working nonstop to sell the $2 entries, as large groups and solo participants flooded convenience stores, news stands and gas stations in the Philly area. Read more »

New Jersey Sues Pep Boys for Overcharging

Pep Boys

The state of New Jersey is alleging foul play by two of the nation’s largest auto repair chains.

Philadelphia-based Pep Boys and Virginia’s Advance Auto Parts have been sued for allegedly overcharging customers in the Garden State. The suit comes just days after Pep Boys agreed to be sold to Carl Icahn for approximately $1 billion and comes from the New Jersey Division Consumer Affairs, through its Office of Consumer Protection and its Office of Weights and Measures.

Both businesses sell auto parts and perform auto repairs at retail locations throughout New Jersey. The suit comes as part of an initiative “designed to ensure that automotive parts stores comply with consumer laws regarding price scanning, disclosure of merchandise pricing, and notices as to the right to a written estimate for automotive repairs.”  Read more »

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