On Wednesday, we made the long-awaited trip to the brand new American Girl Store at Chesterfield Mall, in Chesterfield, MO. (The store’s “soft opening” began Wednesday; the Grand Opening is this weekend.) Of course, the girls were very excited about going, but I have to admit, I was pretty excited myself. I’ve had an American Girl doll for over 20 years, now, but had never actually been to one of the stores, so I had no idea what to expect. Even if I had had an idea in my head, I’m sure it wouldn’t have come to close to what the store actually is, from the sheer vastness of it and the way the displays are arranged to the “Doll Salon” and the charming little Bistro.
When we first walked in, we were greeted by a (somewhat overly) enthusiastic saleswoman.Her knowledge of the products and the history of the company was commendable, and she was very good at talking with the girls, (not to mention listening to them!), and directing them toward the things that would interest them the most. She also gave us a brief tour of the store, and explained how the different areas were set up. One thing that surprised me was that the “salon” was right in the middle of the store, and the dolls that were being “styled” were on full view for anyone who wanted to watch. For some reason, I thought that this would have been done in the back, out of sight.
From the center, the store was divided into a few main sections. On one side, were the dolls we were there to look at–the historical collection. The displays were very eye-catching, and set up in many different and interesting ways. There was, of course, a display for each doll, to showcase her entire collection. There were also smaller vignettes set up here and there, to showcase something in particular…for example, new items in a collection, like Cécile’s and Marie-Grace’s new summer items, (what we were looking for), or a particular theme, like the bedtime collections for each doll.
Another side of the store was dedicated to the “My American Girl” collection–the line of modern dolls which are offered in a variety of hair colors and styles, and skin and eye colors, so that they can be customized to look like any girl.
And let’s not forget the Bitty Baby section in the back–that was Ladybug’s favorite part of our shopping trip!
The Bistro was also adorable…we didn’t go on Wednesday, but we did have a fun time peeking inside!
My only real complaint about the store was the way the check-out line was organized. It seems like there could have been a more efficient way to have people get through the line, because if you had a lot of items on the way to the register, or a large bag on the way out, you were certain to bump into somebody else in line, or knock over a display, or both.
It was a fun shopping trip. Because of the distance, (not to mention the cost!), it’s not a place we’ll be going often, but I’m sure we’ll go once or twice a year, to check out new items, or to go to the Bistro. Plus, I can’t wait to see what the store looks like at Christmas. I’m also looking forward to the day when we can go back and I can take the girls to have tea (or hot chocolate) in the Bistro!