By and large, I’m not a huge fan of department stores. All the JC Penney and Sears commercials in the world will never convince me they’re fashionable destinations. Here in Iowa, we aren’t fortunate enough to have better national department stores like Neiman Marcus and Saks. However, we are pretty lucky to have Von Maur. I know Jordan Creek has gotten a lot of hype in the past couple years, but in my book Valley West will always be the superior mall as long as they keep their monopoly on Des Moines area Von Maur. I’m sure plenty of you have experienced the wonder of Von Maur, but for you non-Iowans and those other crazies who haven’t made it there here are some reasons why Von Maur is by far my favorite department store.
First, the ambience of the store is great. The lighting is bright without being overly fluorescent, and the racks are spaced far enough apart that you won’t have to be cramped while browsing them. You can often hear music throughout the store from the beautiful grand piano situated between the escalators, and unlike most mall restrooms, Von Maur’s are quite stately.
Second, the service is great. Von Maur offers free gift wrapping year round. They will also ship your purchases for free within the continental United States. The staff is always very attentive and knowledgeable. I was personally very impressed last summer when I purchased my Marc by Marc Jacobs laptop bag. The saleswoman forgot to give me my receipt, and she took the time to mail it to me along with a very nice handwritten note.
Lastly, the merchandise Von Maur carries is definitely above par for department stores. They have a fantastic purse department and carry many of the brands that I discussed yesterday. The shoe department is also great, and don’t forget to check out the Shoe Clearance Room for great deals. (Right now, I’m wearing a pair of adorable Sam Edelman heels I purchased there for $20 that were originally more than $100). Of course, the clothes are great and many of my favorite jackets and dresses came from there.
So, check the out if you’re in the area. If not, I hope you’re lucky enough to find a suitable alternative in your area.