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Review of New RL Polo Store; Detroit

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
This past Sunday, the new Polo store opened on the South side of Troy, Michigan's Somerset Collection. Opening day was packed, and I never realized how many attractive people and families were in the area . . . The store is two levels, but the top floor is relatively small, and devoted to the home collection. They did a nice job on the surroundings, typical RL, and resembles a slightly toned down version of the Chicago store. There's a decent amount of accessories, ties, purple label clothing, and even luggage (including a very nice lid-over-body briefcase that caught my eye). The shoe selection is limited, a few English made and more Italian made (plus what I'd call novelty loafers). One salesperson confided that they were hoping to get a more and better shoes in . . . although I have to tell you, looking at the Polo C&J cap-toes, I had forgotten what a handsome shoe those really are. I was also a tad disappoionted with the selection of dress shirts, but in all fairness, I thought the same during recent visits to Chicago and NY. For those of you in the Detroit area, you'll find a lot of the area's longtime and better retail professionals (from the old Polo store, Claymore, etc.) are working at the new Polo store, along with some pleasant new faces. In fact, the salespeople, with the exception of this one guy that came from Neiman's whom I've never particularly cared for, are an asset to the store. There was one odd moment during my visit when a saleswoman up in the home store asked me in a rather affected tone, if the room I was standing in was "me", or if one of the other rooms was "me" . . . I almost responded that "the exit was me". So all in all, a nifty place for the area, I hope it does well. You won't find anything new or unexpected, but I guess we all think of RL as sort of an old standard or standby, which can be awfully comfortable at times. I can't help but wonder how much of an impact this will have on the nearby Claymore Shop or the newly remodeled Brooks Brothers right next door.
post #2 of 13
This sounds quite impressive.  I will have to check it out over Christmas.
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I can't help but wonder how much of an impact this will have on the nearby Claymore Shop or the newly remodeled Brooks Brothers right next door.
I was quite impressed when I saw the renovated Brooks Brothers in the summer, although the stock was low.  The salesman I deal with there said it was because the ordering had been done for the smaller space which is why things looked sparse.  Did you notice if Brooks was better stocked? I hope the Polo does well.  However, I don't think I would worry about Brooks and Claymore.  Both have survived over the years while Polo has come and gone (Birmingham, Somerset North and now Somerset South).  What will it take to ensure Polo lasts longer this time?
post #3 of 13
The new store is very attractive.  But...I was not overwhelmed by the selection.  The setting is more impressive than what is on display.  (I'd rather see more clothing in a "plain" environment.) As was stated by someone else, it is typical RL stuff.  As for the (newly renovated) Brooks Bros next door, I don't think that they will have anything to worry about.  In fact, the increase in traffic will probably help Brooks Bros sales. As for nearby Claymore, Carl Sterr, and the new Parks store, they all offer a unique selection that one cannot find in the malls. They are the survivors.  Polo stores in Birmingham-Troy certainly do not have a great history.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
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This sounds quite impressive.  I will have to check it out over Christmas.
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I can't help but wonder how much of an impact this will have on the nearby Claymore Shop or the newly remodeled Brooks Brothers right next door.
I was quite impressed when I saw the renovated Brooks Brothers in the summer, although the stock was low.  The salesman I deal with there said it was because the ordering had been done for the smaller space which is why things looked sparse.  Did you notice if Brooks was better stocked? I hope the Polo does well.  However, I don't think I would worry about Brooks and Claymore.  Both have survived over the years while Polo has come and gone (Birmingham, Somerset North and now Somerset South).  What will it take to ensure Polo lasts longer this time?
The Brooks Brothers is indeed better stocked now, especially the first floor. Detroit's a funny place, sartorially. Nobody visits here and says "wow, the men in Detroit are well dressed". Most of the sub-45 year old crowd that has cash to burn on clothing, likes the black sweater, square toed shoe look, while the traditional and even natty dressers are generally located on the far East side (and there, there's a certain reluctance to spend money until the old stuff falls to pieces). Based on the crowds at the new Polo store, I think it will do well, of course there's a dash of hope in that statement that traditional tailored makes a bit of a return.
post #5 of 13
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the traditional and even natty dressers are generally located on the far East side (and there, there's a certain reluctance to spend money until the old stuff falls to pieces).
When Brooks Brothers moved from downtown to Grosse Pointe, I thought it would be a perfect fit.  Imagine my surprise when the store became an outlet.  I guess it's true that the wealthy Grosse Pointers can be very frugal.  I have also heard that many restaurants have failed too because the East Siders will not buy if things are "too expensive". Given that Jacobson's is now gone in Grosse Pointe, I suppose Marshall Field's at Eastland would be the place to get RL/Polo on the East Side.  Funny, I don't ever recall seeing Polo for sale in the GPs, and in fact I seem to recall Banana Republic closing there too.  A breed unto themselves.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
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the traditional and even natty dressers are generally located on the far East side (and there, there's a certain reluctance to spend money until the old stuff falls to pieces).
When Brooks Brothers moved from downtown to Grosse Pointe, I thought it would be a perfect fit.  Imagine my surprise when the store became an outlet.  I guess it's true that the wealthy Grosse Pointers can be very frugal.  I have also heard that many restaurants have failed too because the East Siders will not buy if things are "too expensive". Given that Jacobson's is now gone in Grosse Pointe, I suppose Marshall Field's at Eastland would be the place to get RL/Polo on the East Side.  Funny, I don't ever recall seeing Polo for sale in the GPs, and in fact I seem to recall Banana Republic closing there too.  A breed unto themselves.
Grosse Pointe had two great stores (in addition to the Brooks Brothers). One was the "other" Carl Sterr, which sold a lot of Southwick (back when Southwick was pretty darn nice), and the other was Hickey's. Hickey's is still there, but it's not like it used to be. Interestingly enough, I believe the Hickey that started the store was an early big wig at J.L. Hudson's. Too many GPers find themselves in NY or London often enough to buy clothes, and many more will not shell out the bucks. I have heard that the Brooks Outlet there outsells the store in Troy. Still, one can find a fair number of bespoke Savile Row numbers and Lobbs amongst the lunchtime diners at the old Detroit Club or Yondotega.
post #7 of 13
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Grosse Pointe had two great stores (in addition to the Brooks Brothers).  One was the "other" Carl Sterr, which sold a lot of Southwick (back when Southwick was pretty darn nice), and the other was Hickey's.  Hickey's is still there, but it's not like it used to be.  
Perhaps not a "great" store, but wasn't there a "Varsity Shop" that sold all the necessary preppy stuff in GP?
post #8 of 13
Why couldnt I have found this site six months ago? I recently moved away from the Detroit/Ann Arbor area...Have to go back with GF to visit family (I mean shop...) Has anyone tried Von Maur Dept. Store in Ann Arbor at Briarwood?
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
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Why couldnt I have found this site six months ago? I recently moved away from the Detroit/Ann Arbor area...Have to go back with GF to visit family (I mean shop...) Has anyone tried Von Maur Dept. Store in Ann Arbor at Briarwood?
Von Maur will overwhelm you with its mediocrity.
post #10 of 13
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Von Maur will overwhelm you with its mediocrity.
It's like a tired out version of the late Jacobson's.
post #11 of 13
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(TCN @ 23 Nov. 2004, 06:31) Von Maur will overwhelm you with its mediocrity.
It's like a tired out version of the late Jacobson's.
Having not had experience with Jacobsons, I cant comment. I was speaking of their interior looks, as I had no time to look. What kinds of merchandise do they carry?
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
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(clarinetplayer @ 23 Nov. 2004, 06:34)
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Originally Posted by TCN,23 Nov. 2004, 06:31
Von Maur will overwhelm you with its mediocrity.
It's like a tired out version of the late Jacobson's.
Having not had experience with Jacobsons, I cant comment. I was speaking of their interior looks, as I had no time to look. What kinds of merchandise do they carry?
If memory serves correct, their wares are very middle of the road, like a Jacobsons, Parisian, or smaller Marshall Field's/Hudsons. As far as the store interior, lets just say it didn't make enough of an impression on me to remember it.
post #13 of 13
I have only been in the Livonia Von Maur, not the one in Ann Arbor, but would agree it seemed like a lower-end Jacobson's.  However, I recall that they did carry Bill's Khakis and at the time there were significant reductions (at least 50% or more) on many Burberry shirts  - and there were lots of them.  Other than that, nothing terribly exciting that one wouldn't find at an upper-end mid-level (is this a contradiction?) department store.
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