Great Northern Aids the Fashion Conscious and Time Impaired

Say it’s 3:30, you can’t see your desk with all the papers stacked on top of it, but you really, really want to be the first one in the office to show up in those limited-edition, neon-ugly Sketchers that came out this morning. Normally, this would take approximately 47 minutes of searching different mall stores after work, looking for the right size and color, only to find that the stores are all out of the shoe you want. By the next day, damn Jeremy John in production has already scored a pair. (You really, really hate that Jeremy John.) Now you can beat the little bastard and save time too. In June, Great Northern Mall in North Olmsted became the first Cleveland-area shopping center to offer a free online product search. Go to its website and type in the name of the product you’re looking for – say a neon green pair of Sketchers – and the site will list all stores currently carrying them, along with the sizes and number of shoes left. You can click to reserve your shoes and pick ‘em up in a spare moment. “The whole idea is to save you from going on a wild goose chase,” explains marketing director Annie Dorsey. It also makes it easier for you to be the most up-to-the minute fashion trend-setter in the office – as long as Jeremy John doesn’t beat you to the computer. – Rebecca Meiser

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