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Archive for the ‘store closings’ Category

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Maplewood Mall Departures

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Gap closed its Maplewood Mall store yesterday, and there will be more exits before the end of January: Old Navy, New York & Company and Suncoast Motion Pictures are all checking out of the east metro shopping center within the week. This comes on the heels of recent renovations to the east metro mall by Simon Property Group, the nation’s largest mall owner, which also owns Southdale Center in the Twin Cities.

Abercrombie & Fitch Closings

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Funny how retailers don’t issue press releases for store closings like they do for openings.

There are no “store closing” signs at Abercrombie & Fitch, and the current storewide sale is not being labeled a liquidation. But any young, flannel-clad employee will tell you that the Abercrombie & Fitch stores at Southdale Center and the adult and children’s stores at Ridgedale Center are closing, and soon–last day: Saturday, Jan. 28.

(Update: Despite earlier reports, and confirmation by a store employee, an Abercrombie & Fitch spokesman told the Star Tribune that the Arbor Lakes store will remain open.)

Southdale Center confirmed the departure, and alluded to plans for a “very pleasing” replacement that they are not yet ready to announce. (Abercrombie kids closed at Southdale last year).

It’s been widely reported for more than a year that Abercrombie & Fitch, which has struggled recently against lower priced rivals, planned to close more than 100 stores nationwide–many, as leases expired. Abercrombie & Fitch also operates stores at Mall of America and Rosedale Center, and has Hollister and Gilly Hicks stores in town.

New Tenants for Galleria

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Whenever it’s quiet at the Galleria in Edina, you know something is brewing. The Twin Cities most upscale center masterfully keeps itself fresh. Today , Galleria announced several moves and arrivals, the largest of which furthers the center’s reputation for fine furnishings:

Furniture retailer Arhaus is opening a 15,000-square-foot store that will anchor the east end of the Galleria. The 25-year-old retailer produces many of its own designs. The look is updated traditional, with global influences. It should appeal to the customer that appreciates Gabberts, but can’t quite afford it. This is the first Arhaus store in Minnesota. Its arrival also signals a departure: original Galleria tenant Schmitt Music is moving to Richfield. Next door,  Cole Haan plans to build a new store at the west end of the center. Arhaus is scheduled to open in the fall.

Marmi, specializing in European footwear and accessories, will open its first Minnesota store at the Galleria this summer.

Allure Intimate Apparel, which has boutiques on Grand Avenue in St. Paul and Main Street in Maple Grove, plans to make Galleria its Twin Cities flagship with a new store next door to StyledLife. The locally owned retailer sells innerwear and loungewear by LeMystere, Chantelle and others.

Other moves: Papyrus is moving next door to Tiffany & Co. Hammer Made is doubling its size with a new storefront due to open in April. Bang & Olufsen is creating a new showroom for its high-end electronics on the lower level of the center.

More departures: A Pea in the Pod is closing (likely due to the opening this week of Destination Maternity, its parent brand, at Mall of America). Que Sera is also leaving Galleria for Excelsior this month, as previously reported here.

Nola Home Closing

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Before you get misty about the closing of Bryn Mawr design store Nola Home, know that owner Kelly Dorsey sounded almost giddy on the phone this morning–”like a kid on the last day of school.”

After five years at the store (and a whole career in retail and merchandising), she’s understandably burned out by the endless grind of bricks and mortar retail. But this is a transition more than an end for Dorsey, who is already fired up about her next project. All I can tell you now is it will involve home furnishings and exclusive imports. Stay tuned for a big announcement in March.

Meanwhile, a closing sale is on at Nola Home–50 to 90 percent off everything in store including furniture, accessories and gifts. Shhh: Another batch of sale merchandise will arrive on Saturday. Nola Home’s final day will be Jan. 17.

Look for a few Nola Home artists to move over to Honeyshine, the fab new home/design/gift store a couple of doors down in Bryn Mawr.

Nola Home, 404 Penn Ave. S., Mpls, 952-451-7802
414 Penn Ave. S., Mpls., 612-377-7300

Bloomingdale’s Closing at MOA

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Bloomingdale’s is closing its Mall of America store. A spokesperson for the Macy’s Inc.-owned department store declined to provide more details until employees have been informed later today. Mall of America is planning a press conference of its own this afternoon to reveal “other news,” which we can hope is a replacement anchor. My money is on JC Penney, with its new focus on amping up the fashion. However, industry experts point out JC Penney’s largest stores are 100,000 square feet, and the Bloomies spot is a whopping 210,000. Perhaps it will be divided. There just aren’t many traditional anchors left to consider.

The news, while a blow to MOA and our MN fashion cred, should come as no surprise to anyone who has set foot in the MOA Bloomingdale’s–particularly, in comparison to Bloomies in other cities. They just didn’t get it. Bloomingdale’s never embraced the power, the appeal, the draw of MOA. They treated that store like a second class citizen–didn’t offer their best brands and made little effort to connect with customers, local or tourists. MOA, with its 40 million-plus annual visitors is the ultimate branding opportunity. Retailers from around the world are clawing to get in…just to be part of it. Bloomingdale’s snoozed through it. This is in sharp contrast to Nordstrom, which has always taken its MOA store seriously and in recent years has stepped up the designer fashion, recognizing the demand–and lack of other options–in town.

Place your bets now. MOA will make an announcement at 3:05 p.m.

Cynthia Rae Closing

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

I suppose the writing was on the wall when Excelsior boutique Cynthia Rae opened its second location in Uptown a few months ago. Now, the veteran independent retailer is closing its original, decade-old lake shore shop. Owner and designer Cynthia Rae Magnuson says it wasn’t her plan to close the Excelsior store when she opened in Uptown, but her quick success on Hennepin Avenue opened her eyes to possibility.

“I honestly think there was a ‘bigger’ plan but I didn’t know it at the time…My own designs sell like wild (in Uptown), the customer is a bit more adventurous, and I love it!”

Closing the Excelsior store will give Manuson more time to focus on designing clothes and taking her Cynthia Rae label beyond her store. She also plans to launch a new website in February.

“I have had some wonderful years here in Excelsior,” Magnuson said. “It is a beautiful retail community with much to offer.  The customers here have been good to us and us to them.”

Cynthia Rae was a bright spot in Excelsior – always first to join the party and last to turn the lights…especially during the popular Excelsior Girls Night Out events. But the move makes sense: Cynthia Rae plays to a young, urban girl who is aware of trends but wants to dress like an individual…on a budget. That girl is shopping in Uptown year round. Excelsior, charming as it is, gets quiet in the winter. I hope Water Street powers through the freeze. Across the street from Cynthia Rae, tween retailer Zelaz is about to close. And judging by the pre-Christmas sale and empty back half of the store, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Zelaz neighbor La Petite Parfumerie had a similar announcement soon to come. (I hope I’m wrong.)

Still, there are so many reasons to shop Water Street, new and enduring: Brightwater, Omorphia, Meredian Ltd., Martin’s, Gray Gardens, Petunia’s–and the list goes on. Hope to see some new concepts fill the vacancies in this destination shopping town before boating season.

Meanwhile, the Cynthia Rae closing sale is on through Wednesday, Jan. 4 with 50 to 75 percent off everything, including clothes, jewelry, boots, and store furniture. 244 Water St., Excelsior, 952-401-4484

Zelaz is Closing

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

I’m hoping there won’t be as many store closings to report as this year draws to a close compared to the last couple years, but this one was long in coming: Zelaz, the teen/tween retailer has decided to call it quits in Excelsior.  Janet Polach, mother of a teen daughter, opened her store just before the market crashed in 2008. Her concept was a good one: clothes trendy enough to please young girls, but modest enough to win mom approval. She tried several locations, different types of merchandise and a whole lot of community outreach, but it just wasn’t enough. It’s hard enough to get women to small stores; mall-loving teens are an even tougher sell. And she just never had the money to fully see the vision through.

Polach issued this statement:

“It’s been a fascinating, challenging and rewarding ride these last three and a half years.  We love our Excelsior location, and while each month is a little better than the last, it’s not enough to meet the debt we acquired early on AND our ongoing monthly expenses.  A frustrating situation as nearly everyone who comes in the store raves about our unusual selection, quality and reasonable pricing.”

Think you could do it better? Polach is open to the idea of selling the trademarked Zelaz name and e-commerce site. Meanwhile, a closing sale is on now. Save 30 percent storewide. 287 Water St.,  Excelsior, 952-920-1044

Spirit is Closing

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Longtime 50th & France retailer Spirit is closing its doors after nearly 20 years of business. “A passion for trends and eye for fashion have always been a core value of Spirit, but ultimately our greatest joy has come from the relationships we have built with our customers over the years,” reads a note posted in the store window. A retirement sale is on now through Jan. 15 with 50 to 80 percent off. 4944 France Ave. S., Edina

Picky Girl Closing

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Picky Girl is closing after five and a half years on Grand Avenue in St. Paul. It’s happening fast: closing sale begins tomorrow, Oct. 25, with 30 percent off storewide. Doors will close for good at 2 p.m. Saturday–if not sooner, depending on remaining inventory. (949 Grand Ave.)

It’s always a shame to see a good local boutique close its doors, and it sounds like this was not an easy decision for owner Elizabeth Varghese, who has truly given it her all, from fashion shows and charitable events to supporting local designers and St. Paul retail. She’s moving on to other ventures, but keeping a toe (fashionable boot, more likely) in retail: Varghese is now the buyer for Details Style Lab, the store within her husband Brian Horst’s downtown St. Paul salon/spa. Horst recently decided to replace men’s fashion with women’s, and Details now offers well-priced sweaters, jackets and more from some Picky Girl lines as well as some of Varghese’s new favorites. Can’t bear to shop without Varghese’s expert advice? She will be available for private appointments and “Picky Parties.”

New arrivals at Details, 346 St. Peter St., St. Paul:

Oh Baby! Outlet Closing

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Oh no! Oh Baby! Outlet in Wayzata is closing. Saturday, Aug. 27 will be the final day to shop discounted luxury goods for children.

It ends the local retailer’s 10-year presence at 743 E. Lake St. in Wayzata. Originally, the Wayzata store was a second full-price Oh Baby! boutique. But when the flagship store at Galleria nearly quadrupled its size a couple of years ago, they turned the Wayzata location into an outlet.

The concept – 50 to 75 percent of high end clothes and nursery furnishings – was a good one, but Oh Baby! Chief Financial Officer Tom Lauer says the location just didn’t get enough traffic or draw the Galleria shopper. So when the lease was up, they did not renew.

In all likelihood, we haven’t seen the last of the deals from Oh Baby! The company maintains a warehouse in Edina that could be opened for occasional sales. Stay tuned!

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