(1) Wine while you shop.
On the top floor of Nordstrom, you shall find Nordstrom Cafe. At Nordstrom Cafe, you shall find carry-out wine cups, which you can purchase (same cost as the glass price on the menu) and sip from while you shop, as long as you stay in Nordstrom.
(2) A local coffee shop.
Oh hey, Dilworth Coffee. I’ve missed you ever since you moved out of Kenilworth Commons. The coffee shop’s location on the main floor of Belk has a bunch of tables and chairs, plus pastries like local Poppy’s bagels and Arthur’s chocolate chip cookies. Also a shelf of quotable mugs (with prices as low as $9.99) and, of course, their usual killer almond-milk mocha.
I’m coming back for you.
That’s right, if you’re one of those people who hauls around your iPad, iPhone and laptop in your purse or man-satchel, you can find one of the charging stations in the mall to plug into during moments of sheer desperation. #StopDropAndWork
I found this one outside of Neiman Marcus, by BCBG Maxazria and Armani Collezioni. Complete with orchid arrangement.
Also there is this high-topped table by the escalators on the main floor of Nordstrom.
(4) WiFi connection.
Speaking of work, I am writing this from the mall. SouthPark features free (and really, really strong) WiFi. All you have to do is type in your first name, last name and email address, and accept the terms and conditions (like agreeing to receive messages from Simon Property Group regarding events, sales and store openings).
I see what you did there, SouthPark. Bold move.
(5) A complimentary personal shopping service.
If you email firstname.lastname@example.org, you can schedule an appointment to: (a) receive a style consultation to fit your budget, (b) get paired with a personal shopper to follow you around the mall and give recommendations as you shop or to just do all the shopping for you, or (c) set up wardrobe planning to have an expert create your seasonal wardrobe.
I could use some help with jeans.
(6) Award-winning shoe repair station.
Belk Shoe Repair, winner of the 2014 Charlotte Magazine BOB Awards for “best shoe repair,” is located on Belk’s top floor. Services include heel repair (with prices starting at $10 for women’s shoes and $20 for men’s shoes), and repair/shortening of belts and bag straps.
They also sell cool key options, if you’re into that.
(7) An art collection.
Neiman Marcus is basically an art gallery. The first floor features color-splashed artwork like two mixed media pieces by Carol Mode and claywork by Mario Petrirena.
They are part of the Neiman Marcus corporate collection, begun by Stanley Marcus, son of founder Herbert Marcus, and now directed by an on-staff art curator. Stanley believed “art enhanced the quality of people’s lives and the customer’s shopping experience and to him that was just good business.”
Nordstrom even has a full-fledged Art Lounge on its top floor, spotlighting Royal Falcon Arts, which seeks “to promote dialogue and connect with individuals who acknowledge a spiritual identity and awareness,” according to a sign.
Who knew malls could get so deep?
Photos: Katie Toussaint