Written by Andy Newman Friday, 14 June 2013 00:00
Camp & Campus, one of Great Neck’s oldest, established family run businesses, is in its 58th year of operation and looking to change the perception that its fashions are only for the younger woman.
“We’ve grown up,” says Mark Wolf, echoing the store’s new emphasis on serving the contemporary fashion needs of women of all ages. “Most of our fashions go across the age spectrum. The “we’ve grown up” theme conveys this meaning to the person who thinks of us differently: she may have shopped with us as a teen, she may have shopped with us for her daughters or she may never have shopped with us because she perceived us as too young for her taste.”
Mark started working at Camp & Campus every afternoon after classes at Great Neck North High when he was 14, at the old location on Bond Street in 1959. After graduating from Tufts University, Mark made Camp & Campus his career. The store moved to its present location at 42 Middle Neck Road in 2005. His parents, Roselle and Bernie Wolf, who live in the Baker Hill area and have been married for 72 years, started the business in 1955. “In those days,” added their son, “they were known as Mr. & Mr. Wolf and all adult customers were referred to as ‘Miss’ or ‘Mrs.’ Today we live in a more informal world.”
The Wolfs also owned Le Petit Shop at the same time, until it closed in 1987. The store was also located in downtown Great Neck Plaza.
Their granddaughter, Heidi Saltzman, joined the business three years ago. Prior to joining the family business Heidi attended Barnard College and worked in corporate retail at Saks Fifth Avenue and Kate Spade New York. Heidi and her father are very focused on customer service. “Some people have shopped with us for decades because we provide the highest level of customer service,” said Heidi. “We work with our customers on a one-to-one basis and we offer an exciting, diverse assortment of fashion clothing. Our customers enjoy shopping with us and return frequently.” To further extend their level of service, the store is also launching a new website, shopcampandcampus.com.
“We are a destination,” says Heidi, proudly. ”Women come from Manhattan, Westchester and from all over Long Island to shop with us. We are always looking to expand our brand base to satisfy our customers’ needs.” Their customer demographic has changed tremendously in recent years. Their clientele is an audience of women ranging in age from 15 to 75. It’s a very wide range that is virtually unheard of in retail.
Heidi loves attending trade shows, walking the garment district and finding new brands; “I look for brands that people have never heard of, and bring them into the store, try them out, get a feel for them and see customers’ reactions,” she said.
Some of Camp & Campus’ favorite brands include Bella Dahl, David Lerner, Ella Moss, M2F, Nally & Millie, Splendid, Stateside and Sundry. “My sales staff and I,” Heidi says, “love helping our customers create a wardrobe that includes everything from lycra layering tanks to cotton tees to sweaters to denim to silk blouses and so much more. We love helping our customers create outfits for every day as well as that Saturday night out. With a wide range of styles, sizes and price points, we have something for everyone.”