Posts Tagged ‘anthropologie’
Minneapolis accessories designer Laura Nelli of Nelle is as giddy as a bride on her wedding day. Anthropologie proposed – and they pursued her! The retailer wants Nelle’s Just Bowtiful belt collection for its new wedding label BHLDN (short for beholden). The belts, $60, in shades of navy, blush and soft white, will debut on bhldn.com Friday, March 26.
This could be the beginning of a long and fruitful union: Nelli has been asked to submit designs for exclusives to BHLDN.
Amore Coffee has been told to clear out of Milton Mall, 917 Grand Ave. in St. Paul by March 31 – to make room for Anthropologie, according to Amore co-owner Nancy Breymeier, who has been speaking directly to the Anthropologie folks. Exeter Realty, which owns Milton Mall, will neither confirm or deny, telling me in an email they have “no comment at this time.”
Breymeier and co-owner Cathy Hauser aren’t waiting for permission to speak out, rather, they’re launching a public protest. They posted this message on the Amore website: “Help us try to stay…We have been on Grand for 18 years! Let (Anthropologie) know that you value independent, caring community shops and want Amore to continue to serve our neighborhood. Until then, please visit us often … and thanks.”
It’s tough to see a longstanding local business like Amore get pushed out. Breymeier and Hauser have been tireless advocates for shopping local. (They will keep their other Amore location, at 879 Smith Ave., West St. Paul). At the same time, it’s all about balance. The Grand Avenue neighborhood has fought against chains repeatedly, and, from North Face to Chipotle to Patagonia, they’ve lost the battles. But I don’t think they’ve lost the charm or the cache of Grand Avenue as a shopping destination – and the questioning of each and every chain has prompted high standards. A store is not automatically villainous because it is part of a larger, national company. I’ve long thought (and have said so publicly) that Anthropologie would be a perfect fit for Grand (my plan was to put them between Pottery Barn and J.Crew) – it’s got a boutique feel and sophistication that only enhances the shopping scene, but has the popularity to draw young customers who, frankly, are probably more likely to shop 50th & France or Uptown. Anthro will give them reason to visit Grand Avenue, where they will also discover Picky Girl, Karma and the many other local gems.
Always nice to receive a gift card in the mail, but how extremely fun to have one from Anthropologie come zipped in this:
It’s all in the details!
How do rumors get started? Well, this one seems to have been fueled by the gorgeous new Anthropologie store at Shops at West End in St. Louis Park. Since it opened, shoppers – and even other retailers – have been asking me if Anthropologie will close at 50th & France. I was dismissive at first – the 50th store, I’ve been told, is one of the retailer’s most successful – you can tell just by the wait for a fitting room on a Saturday afternoon. The opening of West End was about capturing more shoppers in a hungry market. But the question about 50th hasn’t gone away, so I asked the company: Are you closing your Edina store? The answer is a definitive NO. This comes straight from an Anthropologie spokeswoman who told me “We are not closing in Edina. You can be assured that it is a rumor!”And that’s that.
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.
Anthropologie and Creative Kidstuff have some company at the slow-to-get-going new Shops at West End in St. Louis Park. Love Culture is open, and ready to give H&M and Forever 21 some competition. Did the sign on that t-shirt table really say $2.90 each??! This fast growing, fast fashion chain was founded just two years ago in Los Angeles and now boasts 23 stores in 11 states. West End is Minnesota's first. The store is big and bright with lots of trendy temptations for less than $50 – heck, many less than $30 – like buckle ankle boots, sweater dresses, long tops, leggings and plenty of basics and accessories. Just be sure to try things on: the return policy is not-so-friendly and some items, like the $35 boots, are final sale – even at regular price. Still, great to have a new player in town!
It's never made any sense that stores anxious to sell lots and lots of clothes furnish their fitting rooms with two lousy hooks. We're somehow supposed to hang our own clothes and the garments we want to try on these stubs. And they wonder why clothes end up in heaps on the floor. Anthropologie has figured it out. The fitting rooms of its stellar new West End store have a built in closet (sans door) with two bars and shelf so customers can load up their potential buys. Easy and convenient for the shopper; better for the clothes – and the salespeople that have to clean up the discards. Genius.
Anthropologie has signed on to open a 7,000-square-foot store at the Shops of West End, currently under construction at the southwest corner of I-394 and Highway 100 in St. Louis Park. Finally. We've known for a while that the development, scheduled to open in September, will include a movie theater, Crave restaurant, Noodles & Co. and a grocery store (the Rainbow sign is up). But despite efforts over the past year to draw a mix of local boutiques and better chains not in the market, the only retailer on the official list has been Verizon. Maybe that's why the developers stopped returning my calls. Anthropologie loves the Twin Cities – 50th & France customers especially have helped their stock tremendously. Here's hoping they attract some stylish neighbors in SLP…
What is it about the urban Grand Avenue in St. Paul that makes retailers think hiking, skiing, outdoorsy apparel? I'm still campaigning for Anthropologie in that sorry space between Pottery Barn and J. Crew. But this week, I'll settle for North Face, which opens Friday, April 24 at 799 Grand (where Smith & Hawken used to be) – effectively bookending the avenue with Patagonia at 1648 Grand. No buzz about it, but then, there's already a North Face in Uptown. The company stores feature more than outerwear – clothing for men and women, shoes and bags.
Just a couple of weeks after reporting that Anthropologie has added a personal shopping service at its 50th and France store, Edina-based Hot Mama has created a similar program at all of its Twin Cities locations (Edina, St. Paul, Wayzata, Maple Grove). The store that tries to make shopping do-able with kids – offering toys and snacks – is now taking simplicity to the next level, allowing customers to call ahead with their wants and needs and show up to find options waiting in a fitting room. And same as department stores, there’s no charge for the service and no obligation to buy. Just another sign that boutiques are recognizing they need to distinguish their service to be successful. Wonder which one will be next to jump on the bandwagon.