Posts Tagged ‘expecting uber baby’
I know the owners of Uber Baby were hurt by my Dec. 19 blog entry and I feel bad about that – I have nothing but respect for Dan and Lynne Gonsior. They are the kind of local retailers the Twin Cities need: always willing to take a risk, always ready with a fresh idea. Which makes it that much tougher to be critical, but it's my job to be honest and unbiased. I try to approach every shopping experience as the shopperthat I am and as a shopper, I've found myself disappointed by Uber Baby lately. The Gonsiors say business at the Galleria has dictated many of the changes customers have noticed. They offer some interesting behind-the-scenes insights. The store owner's job is not an easy one – especially these days. As I said in my original entry, I wish them the best and look forward to more great things from Uber Baby next year.
Here are a few of our comments regarding your blog dated December 19, 2008.
The poor customer service you received at our store has already been addressed and we do apologize, poor service is not acceptable..
The mom and stroller traffic that you mentioned is mainly in the morning and very few if any are there to shop.
When speaking about the merchants at the mall to support our concept, we were mostly speaking about stores that support a demo of 25y.o-45y.o.
Mall traffic in the evenings is non existent. Management will tell you traffic is up over last year and we believe that is due to Crate & Barrel. What we see are people using the separate entrance to Crate's store and leaving right after visiting that store.
When we first moved in the Galleria wanted maternity only. We discovered not enough customers are willing to support a high-end maternity boutique. We do very well with maternity at our outlet store. We have decided being able to give our customers a great deal on maternity the focus will be at the outlet in that category.
We opened Über Baby Galleria in what was part of Expecting Uber Baby. Not the Über Baby look or feel. We decided this fall, that the Galleria was not the right fit for Über Baby, daily and evening traffic was almost non existent and our main demographics were not shopping this mall.
We decided to limit our fall inventory given the poor sales and traffic at the Galleria.
We acknowledge that the store does not have the exact same feel as our original store. We are very excited to move on and go back to what made Uber Baby so successful.
So for now we are going to open a smaller Über Baby express store within our outlet. We will be opening a new 2000-3000 s.f. flagship store in the fall of 2009.
These comments come from 15 months of daily observations and feedback from other merchants and customers.
– Dan & Lynne Gonsior, Founders of Über Baby.
Uber Baby is leaving the Galleria after Christmas and heading back to its original location at 60th and Lyndale in South Minneapolis, where it will now share space with the Uber Outlet. Owner Lynne Gonsior told me she's been disappointed with the traffic at Galleria and said "unfortunately, besides Len Druskin, there really were not stores to support our demographics."
I find that surprising. Galleria is teeming with strollers and upwardly mobile parents and grandparents. What about A Pea in the Pod, Oh Baby! (which, by the way, is getting set to move to a much larger space aross from BCBG), Creative Kidstuff, Pottery Barn Kids, Oilily? What about those lovely nursing rooms with the comfy rocking chairs that make this the mall of choice for many new mothers?
Look, traffic is off all over. But I have to think that the troubles Uber Baby is having at Galleria have something to do with they way the store has shifted its focus from better children's clothing and modern gear to gifts. Honestly, I had a tough time spending a $50 gift card at the store today – there's just not much to buy. We're past the newborn onesises with the funny sayings and there were literally just a handful of tops and pants, none of which were in my boys' sizes. And Expecting Uber Baby, which was originally going to have its own space at the Galleria and then got folded into Uber Baby, has been whittled down to little more than maternity workout gear, lingerie and baby bags.
Worried about hanging on to my gift card to long, as we've been programmed to think this holiday season, I eventually spent it on shoes – the store does have some cute ones. My 4-year-old flipped for these so-ugly-they're-cute Dinosoles hightops with a 3D dinosaur on the side that lights up. Good thing I recently had his feet sized at Nordstrom: when I asked the sales associate to check the fit, she declined and said she didn't know any more than I did. Not really what a customer wants to hear.
Uber Baby will reopen at 6021 Lyndale Ave. S. on Jan. 12. I hope it's an opportunity to get back to the fresh merchandising that made this boutique a draw in the first place.
For those who like to stay on top of the shopping news, Uber Baby – formerly located at 60th and Lyndale – opens at the Galleria this Friday, March 28. It will share a space with the newly remodeled Expecting Uber Baby. (The owners had been planning separate stores across the corridor from each other, but changed their minds when customers said they’d prefer to shop for maternity clothes, diaper bags, dad gear and baby goods in one spot). The new Uber Baby will have a tighter focus on gifts, decor and children’s shoes – nearly two dozen hip lines. If only we could stop their little feet from growing so fast!
As alluded to in a previous post, I got a peek at the Uber Outlet at 60th and Lyndale in Minneapolis, which is scheduled to open next week. It’s big. There will be fitting rooms and a play area for kids, but the decor will be simple to keep to the focus on deals – maternity and baby clothes as well as other categories, like accessories. I’ll have an article in the St. Paul Pioneer Press next week about the growing number of local retailers that favor outlets over in-store sales, and more specifics on the Uber Outlet will be posted at AliShops.com. But let me leave you with one more pertinent detail: while the Uber Outlet will sell clearance goods from Expecting Uber Baby and Uber Baby at the Galleria, much of the merchandise will be brought in especially for the outlet. On the one hand, it’s another much-needed destination for better quality clothes at affordable prices. On the other, it could be a bit disappointing to those hoping to find deals on merchandise they specifically saw at the Galleria. What do you think?
Last week, I promised the scoop on Baby Grand’s new store on Mainstreet in Hopkins and I have not forgotten…it’s just taking a bit longer to open than owners had hoped. The new target is this weekend. But call first. Meanwhile, swimwear shop Nani Nalu is frantically preparing for its move from Ridgedale Center to 50th and France on Feb. 1. The new shop promises an expanded selection and a few surprises – check back next week for that story. Then on Feb. 5, the folks behind Expecting Uber Baby will open their Uber Outlet (I’m getting a sneak peek this week, so I’ll let you know what to…expect.) And in March, Uber Baby will open at the Galleria with a new focus on children’s shoes. Then in April, Hot Mama heads west for its latest addition: a Wayzata store.
And we haven’t even hit spring! Lots more shopping news to come – and this is the place to find it first. Wondering about a specific store opening or what will become of a vacant store front in the Twin Cities? Let me know and I’ll try to get you the details.
The former Fitigues space at Galleria won’t remain dark much longer. Uber Baby has signed a lease to take over the spot, just down the hall from its new Expecting Uber Baby maternity store. For those who haven’t been to the original Uber Baby store on Lyndale in Minneapolis, it’s a hipster baby boutique that shuns traditional pink and blue fare in favor of clothes, accessories and gear with some attitude. Not cheap, but definitely more in the realm of reality than, say, Oh Baby!, which no longer has the corner on upscale baby clothes at Galleria.