Okay, I'm convinced: There are like 50, maybe 52 products that come in three colors each and are available at every mainstream store in America. The Michael Kors suede boots I paused over at Pumpz & Co. yesterday were on the floor of the clearance room at Von Maur at Eden Prairie Center today. The super comfortable and yet refined Sofft boots I saw at Macy's were also at Von Maur, still full price. But then I wandered into Scheels, and there they were marked down not once -- but twice. Almost nothing is exclusive and that means it all gets discounted -- usually sooner, rather than later.
So what is Scheels, anyway? A bizarre new specialty retailer that isn't clear on its specialty. Its bread and butter is outerwear -- jackets, boots and snow gear from Columbia and Patagonia. But next to the classic Woolrich sweaters you'll find Free People, Kenzie and Lucky denim. And all of it is on sale, because the girls who wear that trendy stuff aren't shopping at a store that has ski clothes in the display windows!
But let's get to the real question: What was I doing at Eden Prairie Center at 7 p.m. on a Wednesday? Out with my guys -- the toddler and his daddy. Our nights on the town now revolve around family friendly bathrooms and places where running is not frowned upon. Knowing there's an Old Navy in the vicinity is also a comfort. EPC has it all: an indoor playground, amazing bathrooms (they even have toddler seats inside the women's stalls so your kid can't escape. Genius!), a Thomas train table at Von Maur and a Target actually connected to the mall. Plus, the food court has a fireplace, and these days, that counts as atmosphere.