Plus: How to choose the best vets, housekeepers and electricians.
Several furniture and home accessories retailers have opened or are opening soon. The Jonathan Adler contemporary furnishings store (1439 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-353-5311, www.jonathanadler.com) looks fabulous, but for my money, Adler's merchandise isn't that different from its Uptown neighbor CB2 (3045 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., 612-821-9303, www.cb2.com), where prices are significantly lower. For a higher price, a consumer should get better construction at Adler, but many customers today have traded down in the price points of their furnishings, said longtime Uptown furniture store owner Pat Fleetham.
The newest store opening soon is Parmida Distinctive Home Store (Shops at West End, St. Louis Park, 952-405-9696, www.parmidahome.com), which is scheduled to open Saturday with a selection of indoor and outdoor furniture, art, fountains, dinnerware, bath and body collections, and wine and cheese accessories. Some of the brands are the same as those at Macy's or Neiman's, but prices are similar to Williams-Sonoma.
The selection in Gordmans stores (Burnsville, Roseville and Woodbury, www.gordmans.com) looks similar to HomeGoods, but Gordmans one-ups HomeGoods by offering more coupons and a nice clearance section. Buyers often get a 20 percent discount coupon for a future purchase, so if you have multiple items, you might want to split them into two orders so you can apply the coupon. The Roseville location (1663 W. County Road B2, Roseville, 651-636-0419) just opened earlier this year.
In the fall, high-end casual furniture store Arhaus (www.arhaus.com) will open in the Galleria.Choosing the best vet, housekeeper and more
You could easily save the $10 cost of the spring/summer issue of Twin Cities Consumers' Checkbook. The nonprofit consumer organization rates the following Twin Cities services for quality of work and price fairness, including veterinarians, home security and alarm installers, locksmiths, housekeepers, window washers, electricians, fitness clubs, travel agencies, dental specialists and hospitals. Checkbook does its own research on prices by asking each provider their rates on a standardized procedure, which competitor Angie's List does not. Copies can be purchased for $10 at selected Barnes & Noble stores or for $14 by mail (call 651-646-2057 to order). You can also read Checkbook free in most area public libraries.Repurposing an old fur
When a fur coat is damaged, outdated or no longer fits, try having it restyled. During the fur restyle event at Neiman Marcus (505 Nicollet Mall, 612-339-2600) Thursday and Friday, stylists can turn a coat into a different coat, jacket, vest or possibly a handbag, hats, shoes, throws, pillows or a teddy bear. The event includes a caravan of about 40 furs in unusual styles and bright colors that have been marked down 87 percent.