This Week’s Top Story

Spend five minutes with Barry Beck, co-founder of the upscale beauty chain Bluemercury (, and one thing is clear: this man loves Chicago. Oh, and he loves Fresh’s sake bath and Molton Brown’s Pink Pepperpod body wash, too.

During a walkthrough of the new Bluemercury outpost at 356 North Clark Street, Beck speaks fondly about time spent in the Gold Coast as a young tourist; he also raves about Gibson’s while he picks up products to sniff, dab on, and—in the case of Caudalie’s beauty elixir—gently mist.

Wrapped in sky-blue walls, the bustling store has sections devoted to makeup, haircare, and skincare; there’s also a spa for customers craving an oxygen facial. (“It makes you glow,” Beck promises.) The shop also offers two propriety brands, the makeup brand Lune + Aster and the natural skincare line M-61. The M-61 PowerGlow Peel is the top-selling product nationwide: “we sell one every eight seconds,” Beck attests. “It’s a one-minute, one-step exfoliating facial treatment.”

Beck positions the chain as a drugstore for affluent shoppers, who can pop in to pick up anything from sea-salt-and-cucumber-scented candles to sunscreen, deodorant, and sleep-inducing pillow spray. “We never wanted that department-store feel,” Beck says.

But even with seven local stores, Beck has plans for the neighborhood he fell in love with years ago: A Gold Coast outpost will open at State and Elm in August, followed by several more by early 2018. “We’re blanketing Chicago,” Beck says.

Top Sales This Week

Barneys (15 E. Oak St., has taken 50 percent off select items in its Designer Sale. Look for summer-ready pieces like Ulla Johnson’s off-the-shoulder maxi dress (reduced from $335 to $199), Altuzarra’s floral-print sheath dress (reduced from $1,695 to $1,189), and sunglass-lens earrings from Balenciaga (reduced from $475 to $329).

Nordstrom (55 E. Grand Ave., is holding its Half-Yearly Sale through June 4. The sale takes 40 percent off select styles from brands such as See by Chloe, Rebecca Minkoff, and Alexander Wang.

Fashion Outlets of Chicago (5220 Fashion Outlets Way, Rosemont, is holding Memorial Day sales at several of its shops. At Diane Von Furstenberg, for example, select items are up to 70 percent off through May 29. And at Joe’s Jeans, some pieces for women and men will be discounted by 40 percent through May 30.


Randolph Street Market (1340 W. Washington St., hosts it May Garden Party on May 27 and 28. The market’s 300 vendors will sling everything from costume jewelry to vintage Gucci bags and cowboy boots.

Retail News of the Week

  • West Town’s Seek Vintage has moved across the street from its former location. Read more.
  • Out profiles three newly graduated designers from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Read more.
  • Three Chicago Macy’s stores will get self-service shoe departments. Read more.