Posts Tagged ‘50th and France’
Continuing their bid for Total Domination of 50th & France, one of the partners behind Bluebird Boutique and Ladyslipper plans to open a store for men in half of the former Pull Out a Plum space at 4946 France Ave. S. in Edina. Sacha Martin tells me she and her boyfriend plan to open BLUEPEG in August.
Leave it to Lisa Roberts and Annie Hendrickson, the tireless creators of The Find, based in Eden Prairie, to make the decision to open a second location – and do so within nine days. The Find at 50th & France opens in the Edina 5.0. building (you know that glass-enclosed space that has been one failed coffee shop after another?) Saturday, Nov. 7, breathing some much needed energy, disco dancing and bling into the quiet mall. The shop will be packed with the best of The Find's many brands and breadth of products, from lamps to camera bags to fashion accessories. There are sure to be a few home vignettes thrown in for good measure, but the bulk of their furniture/home design business will remain in Eden Prairie. One big attraction at the Edina store: "Project Runway" designer Christopher Straub's handbag and accessories collection, co-produced by The Find. Roberts said she expects Straub, a longtime friend,, to put in some time at the store – right after he finishes his post-show New York press junket (read about that in the St. Paul Pioneer Press). And learn more about The Find here.
No surprise here: Just four months after opening a second Fringe accessories shop at 50th & France, owner Andrea Rovner plans to close her original location in Hopkins . The old store's lack of ambiance was made even more obvious by the opening of the higher-profile, more polished store in Edina. And while inexpensive accessories seemed an unlikely fit for the notoriously posh 50th & France, it's proving to be a huge hit. (Even those with money get excited about a trendy $18 necklace!). Rovner says her Hopkins customers are flocking to Edina. The Hopkins Fringe store will close at the end of the year.
Every purchase makes a difference. In a surprise turnaround, Il Vostro Boutique will reopen next week in the same location at 50th & France- just a month after going out of business. There's no new business partner – just some loyal customers who owner Stacey Finnegan credits with saving the day. "The came in crying," Finnegan says of her recent closing sale – which she swears was not a ploy to re-energize the business. She had every intention of moving on, but her customers took responsibility. "They literally bought everything. They said 'it's my fault – this is the only place I shop, but I cut back…' It was surreal," Finnegan says. She had already placed her fall orders, and canceled them when she decided to close, so she was able to reinstate the deliveries of fall merchandise, and add some new lines. Doors open Tuesday, Sept. 15 and an e-commerce site will launch next month.
Il Vostro Boutique at 50th & France is closing Aug. 14. What's most troubling about this particular boutique closing is that owner Stacey Finnegan, a former Best Buy exec and savvy entrepreneur, worked tirelessly to make her store a success. She participated in local fashion shows (often at her own expense), she hosted trunk shows and in-store parties and ran sales and offered extra discounts to her best customers. When it was clear that she needed to spend more time in the store herself, she did that, and always was available to help.
I think Il Vostro suffered from a fashion point of view that was a bit
to narrow in its appeal. But perhaps, given the times, the bigger issue was pricepoint. Even among those who liked the look, not
many are willing to pay boutique prices today. Even in Edina.
"I have no regrets about the risks I took and the jobs I created," Finnegan said in a statement today. "This is not a failure of the brand or the concept, but a sign of greater economic forces that are out of our control.”
Sunny 50th and France retailer Melly is packing up its Lilly Pulitzers and heading down France Ave. to the Galleria. The mother and daughter run shop will take the former Uber Baby space at the Galleria space in March. They had looked at Galleria before opening the store three years ago, but there weren't openings at the mall at the time. Watch Sales/Specials for details on Melly's moving sale Feb. 5 to 8.
Kiddywampus is the latest local toy store to broaden its reach with a partnership. A Kiddywampus shop opens Saturday within College Nannies & Tutors (3948 W. 50th St., Edina) at 50th & France. (See Sales/Specials for event details).
Others trying the same strategy:
Uber Baby now sells is gifts for babies and moms at most Kowalski's stores.
Wonderment natural toy store has opened a holiday outpost next to Native American bookstore Birchbark Books (2115 W. 21st St., Minneapolis).
Il Vostro Boutique of 50th and France is in the news this week for owner Stacey Finnegan’s surprising decision to open a second shop in downtown St. Paul, which is not exactly known for its lively fashion scene. The move could pay for itself in marketing – she’s getting calls from every news outlet in town because, unfortunately, a contemporary women’s boutique opening in St. Paul is a rather unusual turn of events. The timing is no accident – Il Vostro will open before the Republican National Convention. Anxious to make St. Paul look lively, the city gave her a discount on rent and a short-term lease. So what happens after the convention? That depends on whether St. Paul workers and residents are really ready to shop. I can do only so much alone.
Recently I asked one of the owners of Bluebird Boutique how she felt about the arrival of Bumbershute, which could be perceived as competition for the designer dollar. "Great," she said, and I’m inclined to believe her logic – "now her Wayzata customers have reason to shop at 50th and France. The more the merrier." Indeed, power in numbers was on the mind of Bumbershute owner Kathryn Paulsrud when she made the big move. She figured 50th is more of a regional draw. And becoming more so every day. Nani Nalu made the move from Ridgedale Center to 50th. Priscilla of Boston, like Monique Lhuillier, picked it for its first Twin Cities store. And the latest announcement: St. Paul destination boutique Stephanie’s will open a second store at 50th in August – the same month the Bluebird girls will debut their accessories store, Ladyslipper Boutique. 50th has always been a distinguished address, but lately, there’s an undeniable energy as the shopping district proves itself to be the destination for boutique shopping in the Twin Cities with a well rounded mix of styles and price points (plus great places to eat and drink). If you want to impress your out-of-town fashionista friends, there’s no question where to take them.
And as I examined myself in a pair of cropped pants in the fitting room mirror at Anthropologie, I thought, if only I had "a best friend and confidant available…for exceptional support, insight and a little fun."
Talk about your full service specialty chain. Anthropologie is taking a cue from department stores, introducing a free personal shopping service at many locations nationwide, including the 50th and France store. Call for an appointment – I’m told the personal shoppers can assist on both the fashion and home sides of the store, with anything from a wardrobe update to freshening up a room to top-to-bottom makeovers. The press release promises a whole lot, including the personal shopper pledge to "keep a record of clients’ sizes and interests, so they can alert them when something they might like first arrives." Sounds like the stuff any good retail sales associate should be doing, but at least Anthropologie recognizes the need to enhance service. This is a great opportunity for women who get overwhelmed by Anthropologie’s selection (there’s always more merchandise under the tables), and for women who crave a fresh alternative but always assumed the store was too whimsical or too young (both my mom and I are huge fans, but rarely do we walk out with the same items). Again, like the personal shopping service provided at better department stores, this program is free. You’ve got nothing to lose. Except maybe your old best friend and confidant.