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City slickers

Kelly's Shopping App trip to New York

Clive Wedderburn April 22, 2015

New York

Press Officer Kelly Ranson embarked on a shopping trip to New York. While she was there we asked her to navigate around the Big Apple using our new Shop NYC App and her bank account. Although Kelly went off-line for a couple of days in Tiffany & Co, her feedback was gratefully received here at Hayes and Jarvis HQ. This is what she had to say. (Readers of a delicate disposition may want to turn away from their screens now as they may find some images of shopping extremely addictive).

New York and shopping: In my world these two words go together like a horse and carriage (a carriage in Central Park to be precise). From classy Fifth Avenue departments stores to the hidden Downtown vintage shops, there is no better destination in the world to shop.
Personally I love New York (I’ve still got my ‘I heart NYC’ t-shirt) and have been lucky to visit on numerous occasions over the past few years to see friends and for work and leisure (which involves shopping, of course).
Last December I embarked on my first dedicated Christmas shopping trip to the city. Landing into a freezing JFK airport in December, I was hitting the streets of NYC along with the thousands of shoppers also hoping to bag some last-minute presents. A challenge, but hey, it’s New York at Christmas so what’s not to love?
But I was prepared – a savvy-shopper you might say.  For starters I run marathons so I’m used to pounding pavements in search of that ultimate high, but I also had the new Hayes and Jarvis ‘Shop NYC’ app loaded onto my smartphone. Therefore I had an edge, an advantage. 
So when I wasn’t staring adoringly into various glass display counters, drooling over designer handbags and jewellery cases etc, I was also checking out the new app to see what features it had. It’s a unique shopping guide featuring New York City’s 100 best outlets, handpicked for you by New York’s finest retail experts and grouped to suit a wide variety of tastes and interests.
These are some features I liked:
100 of  New York City’s best stores 
Organised shopping guides by each expert
Reviews of stores and so you can investigate before you get to NYC
Real-time GPS location tracking to guide you along your route
It’s location aware – start from your current location or select from a list of well-known landmarks
Estimated walking times between your selected stores
Sale status of stores – music to my ears
Direct links to store websites
It’s totally worth mentioning but GPS tracking shows where you are at any point on your trip. Whether you want to splash out in classic department stores or sample the delights of speciality delis, the Shop NYC app is invaluable, providing you with all the information you need at your fingertips as you stroll through gorgeous New York.
Available free on the iTunes App store, the handy tool essentially plots a number of routes, giving distances and durations it takes to walk between the shops (plus handy map views), while the various routes are categorised such as ‘Classic department stores’ or ‘Vintage New York’ to ‘American Classics’.
I was fascinated by the insider-knowledge and tips on each store. For example, did you know Bloomingdales was established in 1886 and that Macy’s is the largest department store in the world? I do now. And of course, who can forget it was the setting for the ultimate feel-good Christmas movie ‘Miracle on 34th Street’.
Image courtesy of Credit NYC and Company and Malcolm Brown
At this point I’d like to state that I love Greenwich Village for the smaller boutique-y shopping experience as much as I adore the department stores and to my surprise the New York App copes well with both environments.
On this particular trip to the Big Apple I wanted to mix visits to the classic stores with sightseeing stops so the shopping app was perfect. I plotted a route from my hotel – Le Parker Meridien -  to visit Bloomingdales, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and Macys. The app made it instantly apparent how far away things were from each other, and also how close they were to different attractions. 
Consequently I was able to squeeze in a stop at the Rockefeller Center’s Top of the Rock Observation Deck between visits to Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy’s. I was also able to put Magnolia Bakery (where I scoffed on a truly amazing cupcake) in the West Village into the app, which was quite a way from our hotel, and factor it into a day of sightseeing. 
In summary I found the app really handy. It provides so much extra information – like when you click through onto the store it comes up with details for opening hours and further information; essential over the festive period as I found out that many of the stores were staying open late, or even for 24 hours in some cases. Invaluable!
The Shop NYC App is a great tool to have if you are on a mission in New York, so definitely download before you visit and have fun planning your shopping vacation. I certainly did.