The owner of two popular Galleria home decor stores, ATAZ and Three Rooms has decided to combine the two. “After 50 years in retail, I was ready to retire,” retailer Patty Burrets said in a statement Wednesday. “But then the idea of uniting both stores re-ignited the passion that motivated me years ago. So I’ve landed on a phrase I’ve come to enjoy – ‘semi-retirement’.” Say goodbye to Three Rooms as you know it - the store will close at 5 p.m. Friday, April 23 for remodeling and will reopen in its current location on May 20. ATAZ will remain open through May 28. In the newly worked space, Burrets plans to focus more on local artists while continuing to spotlight the contemporary design that has always distinguished the store.
Ivy is closing after five years in Uptown. Owner Ini Iyamba, who hosted a denim event just last weekend, said simply, "It's the perfect time to say goodbye." All merchandise is now 50 percent off. Sounds like talks for an Ivy store at Shops at West End are off.
Betsey Johnson finally opened today at Mall of America (thanks for the pics, ED!) and soon she'll have some new friends. Francesca's opens Saturday. And coming soon: American Eagle's new kids concept, 77Kids(especially cool for boys - I've been shopping it online). Two others MOA can't claim as exclusive, but they are still new: Lululemon Athletica (also opening next week at Shops at West End in St. Louis Park) and Soma Intimates(which opened this week at Rosedale Center). Stay tuned - more arrivals to be announced soon.
Soma Intimates, Chico's answer to Victoria's Secret, will open its first Twin Cities location Wednesday at Rosedale Center. The store offers bras, shape wear, lounge apparel and more with modest, but not matronly styling. Most bras go up to a 40 or 42, DD or DDD. Stop by April 14 to 28 for this grand opening special: Get a free bra with a $50 purchase.
Betsey Johnson will open at Mall of America this spring. Now that's a good get. (The Twin Cities is one of the only metropolitan areas lacking a BJ.) The playful designer is a Fashion Week favorite and her hot pink boutiques are always filled with rockin' dresses, accessories, intimates, jewelry and more. I just hope Betsey jets in for the opening - would love to see her doing her famous cartwheels inside the SpongeBob pineapple bouncer.
How many times have I written recently that Selby & Snelling is the corner to watch? Well don't look away: coming in May, Tennis on Selby, a tennis boutique that aims to pick up where Tennis 5.0 left off some 15 years ago - down to the very same racket stringing expert. But this store will feature hard-to-find tennis apparel plus shoes and accessories for men. Later this summer, expect to see a new high-end fashion boutique join the mix at Selby & Snelling, along with an appointment only store for local handbag line Heddy Freddy.AliShops.com will bring you all the opening details.
Was just about to post the details of next week's Patina Odds & Ends Sale - always a popular and fruitful event for bargain seekers - when news broke about today's devastating fire that engulfed the Patina building at 50th & Bryant in South Minneapolis - also home to Patina's Shoppe Local, Stacey Johnson Jewelry and restaurants Heidi's and Blackbird. A Patina employee just told me no one was injured, but it appears the stores are a total loss. What a loss for a vibrant urban block, and for these locally owned businesses. For now, Patina plans to go on with the big sale next week, so pay them a visit - they're going to need the support. Details here.
Caught up today with the developer of The Shops at West End who has been working against odds to lease the new outdoor center at Highway 100 and 394 in St. Louis Park that broke ground just before the economy crashed. It's taken considerably longer than expected, but that's partly because they are sticking to their original upscale concept, targeting fashionable, urban women 20-55 who want the latest - as long as parking is convenient and free. The payoff will finally start to be realized in April and May with the opening of Lululemon Athletica yoga wear and Republic of Couture, a boutique-y chain offering trendy labels like William Rast and Hugo Boss for women and men. Both are new to the Twin Cities - an admirable goal of the developer's. (Anthropologie and Love Culture are currently holding down the retail front along with local fave Creative Kidstuff.) The other priority: a mix of local boutiques, and to that end: Uptown retailer Ini Iyamba has signed on to do an Ivy women and men's store and Amy Briesemeister will resurrect her Long Lake boutique Pink Champagne.Also opening this spring: Uber Baby and Hot Mama. Raze, a men's hair salon from Regis, is scheduled to open March 1, followed by Toby Keith's bar and grill the third week of March with more food concepts to come including Mexican, pizza, crepes, a wine bar and - fingers crossed - a local coffee/dessert joint that would be open late. As the action picks up this spring, don't be surprised if a few national chains flee their current Minneapolis or west metro (watch out, Ridgedale) homes to join West End.
While it can't compete with Nordstrom on ambiance or designer goods, Walgreens - yes, Walgreens - intends to give personalized service a shot in the desperate days leading up to Valentine's Day. Thursday, Feb. 11 to Saturday, Feb. 13, the drug store will have "Personal Gift Advisors" available at select locations (sales associates from the beauty counter will assume the temporary role). Allow them to escort you from candy to cards to...personal hygiene - or maybe plush toys? If anyone should know the right Rx, it's Walgreens. This is Walgreens' first foray into personal shopping - a free service that has become increasingly popular in tough times at upscale clothing chains like J. Crew and Anthropologie. "We want to help the clueless male at a store he's familiar with," spokeswoman Danielle Rabin said. "So he doesn't have to go to Victoria's Secret."
Shopping in the city is a challenge without parking in the city. Since the elimination of a few street spots at 50th and Xerxes in South Minneapolis to make room for a turn lane, Shop in the City says business has plunged by 40 percent. The gift/accessories/apparel store plans to close the 3018 W. 50th location by March 15 and consolidate remaining merchandise at the Chicago Avenue store (which has its own lot plus ample street parking).In the spring, Shop in the City intends to look for a new second location closer to 50th & France.