Here are SFGN's "Best of 2017" winners in the shopping category in Broward County.
Best Adult Store
850 NE 13 St.
The Pride Factory has won “Best Adult Store” four years in a row and, says customers, it comes down to two reasons: service and selection.
Clothing is the main focus of Pride Factory, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2016. The selection includes gym wear, swim wear, and underwear from various brands such as Addicted, Aussiebum, CellBlock 13, Jack Adams, Tribe, and Tulio. Pride Factory also carries sunglasses, hats, birthday cards, lubricant and adult toys.
“Great place in the community where you can find just about anything to be you,” said customer Drew Karin. "Great shopping, great prices, and great staff customer service,” said another customer Larry Hagley.
Pride Factory owner Matthew Deak told SFGN at their 20th anniversary celebration listening to what customers want is important.
“I think Pride Factory is a cornerstone of the gay community. We try and stay involved and listen to what they say. We don’t tell them what to wear," Deak said. While
Store Manager Rocky Bowell added, "I’m just thankful to the community for the support. This is a destination store.”
Best Clothing Store
At the corner of 14th Street and 6th Avenue in New York City, Rowland Hussey Macy launched his own company at the age of 36. Using a red star as his symbol, Macy’s first day sales totaled $11.06.
The year was 1858.
Today, the company boasts 670 stores with fiscal sales in 2016 totaling $25.778 billion. South Florida Gay News readers voted Macy’s as their favorite pick for best clothing store. Macy’s has five department store locations in Broward County – Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, Plantation, Pembroke Pines and Coral Springs.
Macy’s received an excellent report from the Human Rights Campaign for its diversity. In HRC’s annual Corporate Equality Index, Macy’s was credited with having an LGBT employee resource group, offering transgender health care benefits and including sexual orientation and gender identity in the company non-discrimination policy.
During June’s Pride Month, Macy’s celebrates with in-store events, parade and festival sponsorships and special merchandise.
“Macy’s is committed to supporting the LGBT community and promoting an inclusive environment for our employees and customers during National Pride Month and all-year round,” said William Hawthorne, Macy’s senior vice president of Diversity Strategies and Inclusion.
Pride + Joy is the company’s annual LGBT campaign. Macy’s also partners with the Trevor Project, carries Levi’s X Pride Collection and welcomes same-sex couples to its wedding and gift registry.
Best Thrift Store
Out of the Closet
2097 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors
For the third year in a row, Out of the Closet captured best thrift store honors.
Operated by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Out of the Closet has two locations in Broward County – on Sunrise Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale and Wilton Drive in Wilton Manors.
Why is Out of the Closet continually voted the best?
“I would say that the cleanliness of our stores and the constantly changing merchandise is the biggest reason people visit us repeatedly, not to mention our friendly staff,” said Jeffrey Rakes, Fort Lauderdale Store Manager.
Out of the Closet opened for business in Los Angeles in 1990, Rakes said. The store also provides free access to confidential HIV and STI testing and has a pharmacy.
But the thrift store is this contest’s winner and as Macklemore rapped in his “Thrift Shop” song, “one man’s trash that’s another man’s come-up!”
“The decorative accessories are always a draw,” said Rakes, when asked about popular items in Broward County. “Plus we have great deals on clothing (designer and otherwise) and furniture.”
Check it out for yourself and if you got $20 in your pocket you might just take your Grandpa’s style.