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Personal Shopper an Old-Time Idea Back in High Tech

By LINDA COMINS

Staff Writer

Depending upon how one views the situation, the concept of a personal shopper has either gone the way of the horse and buggy or has become a high-tech experience.

In the old days, if people hated to shop — or were unable to get out to do shopping — they could call upon the resources of a personal shopping service at upscale department stores. However, demand for personal shoppers appears to have waned, primarily as a result of the proliferation of online shopping opportunities.

Many people who profess to hate shopping avoid traditional retail stores because they don’t like crowds. For these consumers, online shopping seems to be a natural fit.

For busy consumers who don’t have time to assemble an array of possible purchases but don’t mind visiting a store for an appointment, utilizing a personal shopper to gather up the prospects could be a natural fit.

Personal shoppers — store employees who assemble an array of merchandise from which the customer makes a final selection– do exist in big cities, but are hard to find in smaller markets such as the Wheeling area.

Boscov’s and Macy’s department stores at the Ohio Valley Mall in St. Clairsville and Kohl’s department store at The Highlands don’t have personal shopper services.

However, Macy’s does offer a personal shopping experience called My Stylist@Macy’s in the Pittsburgh area at its South Hills Village and Ross Park Mall locations. An employee designated as a stylist helps customers with buying items for special occasions such as weddings and selecting clothing and home furnishings.

Carolyn Ng, a public relations specialist for Macy’s North Central Region, said, “My Stylist@Macy’s is Macy’s complimentary personal shopping service dedicated to helping customers of all ages find the best fashion of the season and select gifts friends and family will love.

“My Stylist@Macy’s is fun, fast and free — customers will get the scoop on the latest trends and top brands, and have curated items available upon arrival, with absolutely no pressure to buy,” Ng said. “My Stylists will even fashion shoppers’ entire homes with a selection of furniture and home goods from Macy’s broad assortment, creating a look perfect for every lifestyle.”

Appointments for My Stylist@Macy’s can be made online or by telephone at 800-343-0121. For more information about My Stylist@Macy’s and to make an appointment, customers can visit macys.com/mystylist.

Nordstrom, which operates a department store at Ross Park Mall, also offers free personal stylists. Appointment can be booked online or by contacting a store location.

“It’s the ultimate shopping convenience,” nordstrom officials stated. “We offer a range of experiences for shoppers of all kinds.”

According to the Nordstrom website, after an appointment is booked, a stylist will contact the customer to learn more about the consumer’s style, budget and goals. When the appointment day arrives, the customer will find a dressing room filled with options chosen for consideration. The personal stylist will offer suggestions and honest advice based on the client’s initial consultation.

Personal shopping assistance also is offered online, but most of these websites are designed to help international customers who want to buy online from U.S. sites.

The personal shopping services help global shoppers make purchases online from stores that have restrictions on payment outside the United States.

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