UNLEASHED AT THE TOWN CENTER

December 30, 2015
by
2 mins read

Dear Davi,

After the holidays, my human has quite a few returns and exchanges to make (those Lululemon pants weren’t made for everyone, ya know). Are there any stores at the St. Johns Town Center that allow me to shop alongside my companion?

Sincerely,

Toby

Hi Toby,

I disagree with your assessment of universality of comfortable, if tight-fitting pants, but if you or your human have any legitimate post-holiday returns/exchanges to make, there are, in fact, a growing number of shops tweaking their policies to let pups to shop with their humans. While these stores mostly cater to those seeking clothes and gifts, many stash treats and fill water bowls for canine customers. Here’s a few I visited recently.

Natural Life: Sticking to her free-spirit vibe, Natural Life founder Patti Hughes let me roam freely in the bohemian clothing store – that goes for all dogs. “Our mission is to make the world a better place by inspiring people to give and live happy, and dogs make people happy,” she says.

LUSH Cosmetics: Earthy scents from the open door lured me into LUSH. Sales expert Kendall Wilson tells me dogs are regular customers. “They usually drink from the water bowl before browsing the product line with their people.” On top of being dog-friendly, LUSH offers a line of body products that show a true love for animals. “LUSH has a cruelty-free, no-animal-testing policy for their products, and that admiration for animals extends to your four-legged friends.”

Free People: This store is a
dog-friendly destination that features trendy women’s fashions and friendly folks, like store assistant Hannah Chadwick, who always smiles when dogs visit. “Dogs make everybody happier. People tend to open up more and talk about their own dogs when they see dogs in the store,” Chadwick says.

Lululemon Athletica: Being an active dog, it was cool to discover a water bowl filled to the brim – an unspoken sign of a dog-friendly shop. Even cooler is store manager KCJ Szwedzinski, who is also the executive director of Project Chance, an organization that trains service dogs for kids with autism. She brings her service dog Maka with her on most days.

Anthropologie: I’m no fashion expert, but I do
like sniffing around the latest styles. “We love to inspire by providing an unimagined experience, and dogs are a part of that experience,” says manager Yasmin Evans. The store also supports the pet community by partnering with local shelters for Sit, Stay, Love, an adoption drive.

Barnes & Noble: Though dogs are not allowed in the café, we are welcome to wander the aisles of books (and vinyl!) with our humans. Where’s Spot? In the section where they stock true stories of animal heroes!

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Essentials: No more scratching at the door. We’re finally allowed in, but there is one exception – we must be held. Dogs with strong wagging tails might knock over plates and glasses, so Great Danes, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers and Mastiffs should probably make other plans. Cooking classes are held often – the aromas could also be distracting.

Remember that many stores still leave it up to the manager to decide if they will allow dogs. It’s a very good idea to call ahead and find out the policy before you hit the mall.

Happy return shopping!

Folio is your guide to entertainment and culture around and near Jacksonville, Florida. We cover events, concerts, restaurants, theatre, sports, art, happenings, and all things about living and visiting Jax. Folio serves more than two million readers across Jacksonville and Northeast Florida, including St. Augustine, The Beaches, and Fernandina.

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