I’ll See Your Apple Store and Raise You a Crate and Barrel

What's on your fantasy retail roster for Philly?

For the entire time I’ve lived in this city, I have harbored silly little fantasies about Philadelphia retail the way some people dream about the Eagles winning the Superbowl, or the Flyers bringing home the Stanley Cup.

In my own personal little fantasy league―a league in which many of my girlfriends play along with me―we toss around a list of places that we’d like Philly to acquire, or to trade for some of our existing stores. It’s a good game—coming up with the retail roster that would complete our city lives.

Yes, we know we can drive out to King of Prussia or Cherry Hill and find most anything … but that’s not the point. The point is that we live in a city, and we work in a city, and we’d like to shop in our city and also, I’ve about worn thin the path from my front door to the my four regular old standby stores, and yes, Paul Levy’s Center City District is awesome and has transformed retail here in an amazing way and yes, Walnut Street sure has changed for the better over the last decade already and yes, yes, that Apple store is cool and all, but Chicago is getting a DSW on top of the enormous embarrassment of riches that they already have and that just seems unfair and wouldn’t it be awesome if we had a DSW and also a Nordstrom and maybe a non-janky lingerie store that I can afford within walking distance?

So. Here’s my fantasy draft of corporate-type retail of places that I think would vastly improve our shopping scene.* (If any of the following retailers are reading: I hereby promise my support―and that of most of my girlfriends―if you choose Philadelphia for your next outpost, as we are a major metropolis and just as shoppy as those Chicagoans and much more appreciative than the New Yorkers. Thank you.)

1. DSW. (We can never have enough access to shoes.)
2. TJ Maxx. (Because I once got a cake stand that looked like it was $75, and it was $5.)
3. Crate and Barrel. (West Elm rocks, but I don’t believe in monopolies.)
4. Nordstrom.
5. A non-janky lingerie store that I can actually afford.
6. Target. (Yes, there’s one off Columbus Avenue, but when you need pomegranate candles and plastic storage bins and a Lean Cuisine, you need them close and need them now.)

7. Armani/Hermes/Jack Spade. (Alas, for this shopper, the presence of more big-time designers generally just means better window shopping and a better reason to claim Philly as a true shopping destination. But there are still many, many people around here who would happily see Hermes like I see The Gap. Would Rittenhouse Square then morph into a chic little Jardin du Luxemburg, I wonder?)

So do you, readers, also have a retail roster? What am I missing?

*Boutiques not included, but only because it goes without saying that more boutiques of the Verde/Open House/Knit Wit/Third Street Habit/Vagabond variety would be most welcome.