Posts Tagged ‘Hot Mama’
It's gotta be the animal crackers. How else to explain Hot Mama bucking the boutique blahs and expanding at a time when so many local retailers are downsizing or closing? Hot Mama just announced plans to open its 12th location (fifth in the Twin Cities) at Rosedale Plaza in Roseville. The store will open Nov. 4. But first, on Oct. 22, Hot Mama will unveil a new, larger store at 50th & France in Edina. Hot Mama is moving down the block to the old Acorn space where there will be room for maternity and regular fit to combine (now they are across the hall from each other). Hot Mama sells contemporary women's fashions including a lot of designer denim and accessories often seen on celebs. The store understands what makes women in their 30s and beyond feel sexy. But more than that, Hot Mama knows the key to a shopper's wallet is her children. Ply 'em with snacks, provide them with toys and even have salespeople double as babysitters – then mama can shop.
Tags: edina, Hot Mama, maternity shopping, minneapolis shopping, roseville, twin cities shopping
Posted in Women's Fashion | No Comments »
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.
Tags: anthropologie, Hot Mama, personal shopper, personal shopper minneapolis, personal shopper Twin Cities, personal shopping, personal shopping service, stylist minneapolis, twin cities shopping
Posted in Shopping Tips | 2 Comments »
The execs at Shoppes of Arbor Lakes had a comment or ten about my recent "MG boutique crisis" post. (As did some shoppers – check out their responses and weigh in.) They were quick to point out that Hot Mama and Goodthings aren’t the only local stores – National Camera Exchange, North Star Home Fitness, Let’s Dish and Pittsburgh Blue are also Minnesota companies. I didn’t mention those because I was focused on true boutiques – clothing and gift shops that might draw shoppers from other parts of the metro.
But here are some other points worth sharing from the marketing team at Arbor Lakes:
-"Retail is constantly evolving as trends change. We work with our leasing department in order to find tenants with concepts that best reflect the market and compliment the existing mix of stores."
-"Rents are competitive with market pricing. While I cannot disclose the nature and terms of our deals, we work with local tenants to ensure that the rents will definitely allow them to ‘pay the rent next door to a Pottery Barn or Gap’."
-"Rising gasoline prices and the housing downturn have been a factor in local and national tenant sales performance. Bombay and The Sharper Image closed stores nationwide as a result of bankruptcy. The economy is forcing retailers– both local and national– to close across the metro, not just in Maple Grove."
-"Our retail district features successful retail stores and restaurants such as Anthropologie, Trader Joe’s, Pottery Barn, and P.F. Chang’s that have limited locations in the Twin Cities. These tenants, coupled with successful locally owned tenants do create a distinct retail environment. Maple Grove features the second highest square footage of retail in Minnesota, second only to Bloomington."
All valid, interesting points. And it should be said that I enjoy the Shoppes on a sunny day, and if I lived nearby, I’m sure I would shop it all the time. But I don’t feel compelled to rush there from other parts of the Twin Cities on a regular basis, since you can find most of the stores elsewhere. The setting is nice and neat, but because it does break from the traditional mall, I’d like to see the tenant mix do more of the same. One shopper commented that perhaps no one is interested in local boutiques – Maple Grove has so much else to offer. Maybe that’s true – and hey, of course there are days when it’s easier to dash into the Gap than to browse little specialty shops – but all that sameness gets a little boring.
Tags: good things, goodthings, Hot Mama, lifestyle center, Maple Grove Shopping, outdoor mall, shoppes at arbor lakes, shoppes of arbor lakes, Shops of Arbor Lakes, twin cities shopping
Posted in Shopping Tips | No Comments »
Shoppes of Arbor Lakes in Maple Grove has become the place local stores go to die. One of the very few remaining, Pamper Me Pets recently bit the dust. Now it’s just a very small handful, like Shoesters, Goodthings and Hot Mama (a growing chain in its own right) amid all the national chain stores. I remember touring the "lifestyle" center before it opened and hearing the developer promise that the outdoor atmosphere wouldn’t be the only factor to differentiate Arbor Lakes from traditional malls. It was to feature a mix of national chains and local boutiques. The reality is, most independent retailers just can’t pay the rent next door to a Pottery Barn or Gap. There are occasional signs of hope in that sea of parking lots and strip centers, like the opening of Edelweiss Baby. Then again, it replaces Hey Diddle Diddle, another Maple Grove baby shop that couldn’t make it. Are Maple Grove shoppers really so content with the same ol’ chains? You get the feeling driving down Elm Creek Blvd. that you could be in any sprawling suburb in America. There’s nothing to make all that retail space distinct. Too bad developers don’t realize that size isn’t all that matters.
Tags: Arbor Lakes, edelweiss, goodthings, Hot Mama, Maple Grove, pamper me pets, shoesters, shoppes at arbor lakes, twin cities shopping
Posted in Shopping Tips | 3 Comments »
All I wanted was a couple of new shirts.
Getting dressed postpartum is oddly more challenging than maternity fashion – and that’s not even accounting for the spit up and milk leaks. While pregnant, I sought out shirts that were form fitting to show off my belly – better to let people know you’re knocked up, rather than knocking back too many pints of Chunky Monkey. But the clothes that worked at 9 mos. now feel too revealing. Nothing cute about the aftermath. Nothing cute about my 3-year-old pressing the jiggly remains at my midsection and asking "Mommy, is there another baby in there?"
And the boobs are a bigger issue (literally) than the tummy. Even some of my more forgiving shirts and sweaters won’t work because I’m taking up so much fabric up top.
So I decided to make the trek to Hot Mama. I wanted to check out those Yummie Tummie body shaping tanks I’ve heard so much about. I know women love them, but personally, I felt like the stretchy top (think Spanks in shirt form) simply emphasized my extra rolls. I did, however, find plenty of longer, loose (skim the body, loose – not potato sack loose) tops.
I actually had time to try a few on because 1. Hot Mama has toys to occupy my 3-year-old. 2. My parents came along to hold the newborn when he fussed.
It really does take a village to shop with children.
The baby was fine. My newly potty trained older one, however, suddenly needed to poop. I dropped the one Free People shirt that fit, left the stroller in the aisle, the baby with the grandparents and dashed across the hall to the restroom (A good mother always identifies the nearest potty when out in public with a toddler.)
Returned to the counter to pay when the urge hit him again. This time, I could tell by his red face, and the fact that he asked if I had brought him other pants, we were in trouble. So much for those cute Elmo underpants.
We regrouped, cleaned up, packed everyone up and about three hours later, we were ready to go home.
At least I did get my shirt. And a silver bangle.
Tags: 50th and France, Free People, Hot Mama, post baby clothes, post-baby fashion, postpartum fashion, shopping with kids, transitional clothes, what to wear after a baby
Posted in Women's Fashion | 1 Comment »
Just got word that Hot Mama will donate $25,000 of trendy merchandise to Hope Chest for Breast Cancer’s "A Night of Denim & Diamonds" gala on Oct. 5. Everything not sold at the event will go to the Hope Chest stores in St. Paul and Orono, where you can be sure it will be priced ridiculously cheap and you can rest assured your dollars are going to a good cause. Hope Chest profits benefit breast cancer victims in Minnesota.
Tags: Denim & Diamonds, designer deals, Hope Chest, Hope Chest for Breast Cancer, Hope Chest gala, Hot Mama
Posted in Women's Fashion | No Comments »