Retail (and life in general) is starting (trying?) to get back to normal after Sandy. Barneys opened yesterday and today, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale's, Saks and Macy's opened their doors along with plenty of other stores in areas with power. And we've been happy to see that many of our favorite retailers are showing a compassionate side, while obviously also trying to generate much needed sales.

As we reported yesterday, Barneys New York was among the first to reopen Wednesday afternoon. And despite their famous cafe Fred's being closed, the staff distributed free coffee, cappuccinos and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to customers. After a few days locked inside watching Homeland, browsing Celine with a PB&J was no doubt a welcome change to shoppers. The retailer also tweeted that tonight Barney's Copley Place Boston is donating 10% of all sales tonight to The Red Cross as part of a local charity drive.

Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue enticed shoppers by offering free charge ups (just ask sales associates), quite a commodity for those who have been powerless for days. Bergdorf's also put up a blog post with tips on how to help–like where to donate supplies and how to use social media.

The American Red Cross seems to be the charity of choice. The Coveteur (‏@thecoveteur) announced that 100% of profits will be donated to the charity, and Gilt group (@GiltCityNYC) is donating 30% of our profits from now to November 4th. Penfield just announced that they will donate $10 from every order on their website to the Red Cross Relief Fund. Reformation, whose headquarters and two New York stores are in the "dark zone" announced that in addition to a seven day sale on their website for 20% off (just type in coupon code REFRELIEF) the store will donate 10% of all our web sale to the Red Cross. Meanwhile Shopbop (@Shopbop) is simply promoting donations, tweeting "Our thoughts are with everyone impacted by #Sandy. Want to help? Go to redcross.org or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make $10 donation." UPDATE: Barneys just announced that on Sunday November 4, 10% of all proceeds from their Madison Ave. flagship will go towards the Red Cross to support their Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

Retailers have been walking a fine line trying to figure out ways to drive sales to recoup some of the losses they've incurred in the wake of Sandy's aftermath. American Apparel got a lot of flack for offering Sandy discounts during the storm, but told us that "retail stores are the lifeline of a brand like ours so when they are closed, we need to come up with ways to make up for that lost revenue." And they're not alone. Many retailers are coming up with Sandy-discounts to try to drive up sales online while their brick and mortar stores are out of commission.

Shopping right now is a good way to boost the battered NYC economy, so don't feel guilty about making a purchase or two (and charging your phone) if you head uptown, and, of course, spend a bit extra and donate to Sandy relief.

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