It’s another hefty week in the world of local shopping, so I’ll just kick it right off:
• Lots and lots afoot at Park Plaza these days: Santa arrives with spotlighted fanfare at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, and the first 200 kids who visit over the weekend and bring four canned goods (for the Arkansas Food Bank) will get a gift from Build-A-Bear Workshop.
On Saturday, Nov. 11, events all day will celebrate the completion of the multimillion-dollar renovation — ribbon-cutting at 11:30 a.m. (including the announcement of a new national retailer), fashion shows, exhibits and entertainment presented by the Sister Cities organization, and a “Santa Around the World” storytime at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
• The same day, the mall is holding its annual “Time of Giving” event. A $5 contribution to Sister Cities gets you a coupon book full of special offers at Park Plaza retailers Nov. 11 only.
• Several new stores have opened recently: Talbots Woman, Brookstone (gadget store resembling the Sharper Image, open in the former Bombay Company space), and Bath and Body Works. The Gap has also finally reopened, with a completely remodeled store that includes a Gap Body section, with women’s lingerie, sleepwear and workout clothes. And for those of you with a sweet tooth, See’s candy will have a “gift center” in Park Plaza through Christmas Eve.
• If you’re there to check out the grand reopening, stop by Crabtree and Evelyn, where everything is 20 percent off Friday through Sunday, Nov. 10-12, for customer appreciation days.
• Southern Trading and Loan, at 8316 W. Markham, is going out of business. Everything’s discounted, and the doors should close permanently by the end of the year.
• Parisian is now officially, grand-openingly open at the Pleasant Ridge Towne Center on Cantrell Road. I like the store a lot, and a particular red dupioni silk Kay Unger sheath dress made me almost cry for the lack of a suitable party to wear it to (well, and the $290 to pay for it). Most of the merchandise is higher-end, but budget-minded shoppers can find deals if they look for the store’s private Parisian Signature brand. (And the sale signs. About 2/3 of the store was on sale when I visited, some of it up to 40 percent off.)
And Parisian gets huge bonus points with me for actually carrying, in the store, wide-width shoes. Shoe freaks in general will be very happy there.
Special events and sales continue through the rest of the month, so stop by and check it out.
• Strasburg Children — high-end dressy clothes for small children — is also now open at Pleasant Ridge, and Indigo Home looks like it’s next.
• Speaking of stuff for the kids, The Children’s Place is now open at Midtowne. Its clothes are more of the OK-to-spill-Kool-Aid-on variety.
• Holiday House, the Junior League of Little Rock’s annual Christmas shopping event, is Nov. 16-18 at Alltel Arena. Admission is $6 for adults, and more for special events — check www.jllr.org or call 375-5557 for details and a list of this year’s vendors.
• So I’m officially in love with Williams-Sonoma, now open at Midtowne. Well, it’s more like the crush I had on Duran Duran in the seventh grade, where all I could do was tape their picture to my bedroom wall and dream. But while the $300 Kitchen-Aids may be out of reach for a lot of people, I predict many Christmas stockings will be stuffed with tins of the store’s gourmet hot chocolate and baking mixes, which top out at $25.
I’ll take the Molten Chocolate Cake, thanks.