Monthly Archives: January 2007

HER HOME: Outdoor Shopping

Apparently the latest thinking is that women prefer a more traditional downtown-style mall –or “lifestyle mall”, as it is being called now – over shopping in climate-controlled indoor malls …the very same things that replaced the traditional downtown areas as the most popular place to shop.

At least that’s what today’s USA Today is reporting. The article states, “The centers have proved so popular that some leading mall developers vow they’ll never build an enclosed mall again. Of the 10 large regional shopping centers scheduled to open from 2006 to 2008, only one has a roof.”

The article offers this “expert” comment: “It’s so simple, it’s genius,” says Mark Zygmontowicz, a managing director at MapInfo, which does location analysis and research for retailers. “I have a grand appreciation for these lifestyle centers.”

Commenting on the appeal to women, USA Today says:

“Even malls that don’t remodel to become lifestyle centers are taking a cue from their more laid-back shopping center siblings. Laura Pomerantz, a founding principal at PBS Realty, says more malls are adding comfortable seating areas to give people more of a reason to stick around — or at least make them more comfortable while they do so. ‘They’re recognizing that lifestyle centers are attracting the women to hang out,’ says Pomerantz, who helps retailers including Tory Burch and Donald Pliner find real estate. ‘The couches and chairs are a trend in reaction to the lifestyle centers.’”

There’s a link to a listing of these new “lifestyle centers”. Oddly, for this being such a new idea, the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City is also listed. It opened in 1923. It’s a wonderful place to go during the holidays, but with its unique architecture and interesting boutiques and eateries, it’s more of a destination than a true “lifestyle center”.

But aside from the Plaza in KC, I’ve tried the open-air shopping from Maryland to Nebraska – it was a novelty and had a few stores I wanted to check out. But for my money, nothing beats a regular climate-controlled mall for true shopping – particularly on these freezing cold days, in rainy weather, or on a blazing hot summer afternoon.

What’s your opinion?

To read the article in USA Today go to:



Filed under buying, lifestyle, shopping, trends, Uncategorized, women

HER HOME: Flowers and Chocolate

Good news for women on Valentine’s Day:

Men continue to be the primary spenders when it comes to splurging on gifts for Valentine’s Day,” said Tracy Mullin, National Retailers Federation President and CEO.  “With males spending significantly more this year than females, men may be looking at Valentine’s Day as a way to make up for that HD-TV they splurged on for the Super Bowl.”

Not that women are cheap or anything, but the NRF report says, “Men have historically been the big spenders when it comes to Valentine’s Day and this year is no exception.  According to the survey, the average male is expected to spend $156.22, nearly double the $85.08 that the average female will spend. Flowers remain a popular holiday gift, with 58.3 percent of men planning to buy their sweetie some type of flower (vs. 52.3% in 2006). Men will also be showering their loved ones with cards (56.7%), candy (42.9%), an evening out (53.1%), and jewelry (27.6%). 

I will eagerly await my flowers and chocolates.  🙂


Filed under Uncategorized

HER HOME: Have You Placed Your Order Yet?

You know it’s a good cause. And besides, who can resist the innocent faces of the Girl Scouts or their yummy cookies? I ordered a dozen boxes of Girl Scout Cookies a couple of weeks ago. But for those of you who haven’t gotten order in yet, fear not! The Girl Scouts have gone high-tech in cookie sales. Their new website will help you quickly locate a place in your area to purchase cookies. Plus, they now have a spot on MySpace: .

“By creating a one-stop online destination with information about every council that sells one of America’s favorite treats, we believe it will be easier than ever to enjoy a quality product while supporting girls and young women throughout the country,” says Kathy Cloninger, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA. “This annual, voluntary activity teaches girls essential financial skills they will use their entire lives. We’re proud that the Girl Scout Cookie Program has become the nation’s premier business and economic literacy program and believe this online initiative will truly strengthen the program and result in a successful 2007 sale.”

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Filed under buying, Cookies, Girl Scouts, lifestyle, shopping

HER HOME: Saks “New” Demographic

The new ideal demographic for Saks 5th Avenue is 35-55 year old wealthy women, according to an article in today’s Washington Post. That particular group of shoppers makes up 60 to 70 percent of Sak’s clientele.

The Post article says, “Chief executive Steve Sadove has made it clear that he wants to cater to wealthy women between the ages of 35 and 55 with classic tastes. The chain has suffered something of an identity crisis over the past few years, veering between edgy young shoppers and older traditionalists. That confused customers, and market share diminished.”

The article talks about the petite section and various woman-centric features of the store….but without saying “woman-centric”. It gives the impression, though, that no matter “edgy young shoppers” or those with “classic tastes”, Saks is definitely female-oriented.

To read the whole article, go to

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HER HOME: Woman-Centric Builder in NC

Sparkes Construction from Asheville, North Carolina, issues the following press release:

Sparkes Construction Co. Inc. named exclusive Woman-Centric™ builder for 6 North Carolina counties.

“How will this home specifically serve the needs of the woman of the house?”

“How will this stage of home construction create a healthier home for her family?”

“Will our construction techniques and materials provide her with a home that will provide enjoyment, convenience and satisfaction for years to come?”

These are but a few of the questions that help Sparkes Construction Co. Inc. maintain a woman-centric perspective throughout each homebuilding project.

Owner David Sparkes wife, Kimberly, who co-owns the company, helps him pick woman-centric home plans and does most of the decorating and selections. “We may spend a month and a half just choosing the perfect plan for a property. Once I get the home framed, Kimberly’s on her way to multiple design shops, working with our suppliers around town. She gets the colors and materials together, then she gives me a list and I go forward with finishing the house’s interior. Kimberly also home schools our two daughters (ages 5 and 12), manages our rental properties and is earning her real estate license.”

“We are honored to to be chosen as woman-centric homebuilder in North Carolina.”



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HER HOME: Lion Submits to Loving Wife

“The lion eventually let go and, with blood on its snout, stood staring at the woman. She screamed and waved the log until the animal walked away.” It wasn’t a burly weight-lifting young thing who made the mountain lion back down. It was a 65-year-old lady who will be celebrating her 50th wedding anniversary next month, and she was saving the life of the man she loves.

A news piece on MSNBC explains that Nell and Jim Hamm, experienced hikers, were hiking in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park in California when the lion pounced on Jim. According to the article, Nell said, “Jim was talking to me all through this, and he said, ‘I’ve got a pen in my pocket and get the pen and jab him in the eye,'” Nell continued, “So I got the pen and tried to put it in his eye, but it didn’t want to go in as easy as I thought it would.” MSNBC stated that when the pen became bent and no longer useable, Nell went back to using the log and successfully stunned the lion with her attack, making the lion give up her beloved Jim.

Never underestimate the life-long love of a brave woman.

The complete article can be found at:

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Filed under brave, inspiration, lifestyle, loving, Uncategorized, wife, women

HER HOME: Nissan “Gets It”

According to today’s edition of MediaPost’s Marketing Daily, Nissan “gets it” about the importance of marketing to women. The article says, “INFINITI, THE LUXURY DIVISION OF Japanese automaker Nissan, plans to increase its marketing budget by 20% this year and focus on women consumers for its new small crossover vehicle and G coupe, says Vice President of Marketing Jan Thompson.”

Nissan just finished an ethnographic study of women. The article quotes Thompson about the findings of the study and the reason for Nissan’s new approach, “We found that women really want to understand the brand. They want to know what it will do for them and what to expect from the brand. If they don’t know that, they may not be willing to take the time to search a brand out.” She states that Nissan needs to find ways to be “contextually relevant to women, which is different than the way we speak to male consumers.”

Thompson stated that the company plans on reaching out to women via the internet and magazines.

To read the full article, visit

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Filed under impact, lifestyle, revenue, shopping, trends, Uncategorized, women