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Ali Shops Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Il Vostro’

Shoppers’ remorse saves the store

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

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.

Hard work doesn’t always pay off

Friday, July 24th, 2009

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.”

There ARE shoppers in downtown St. Paul!

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

Want to see the downtown St. Paul Macy's spring to life? Give away cosmetics. Smartly dressed women came out of the woodwork in St. Paul on Tuesday morning. Honestly, I thought I'd taken a wrong turn into Minneapolis on my way to the sorry downtown store, which is usually a ghost-town at 10:30 a.m., and could barely be called "bustling" even over the lunch hour. But it's not for lack of downtown workers who are interested in beauty and fashion. As I observed a line that snaked around the entire first floor, I thought, if only Macy's could get these ladies in here on a typical day, the state of downtown St. Paul shopping would be a whole lot healthier. Stop saving the better merchandise for the suburbs and we won't have to wait until the weekend to shop! Of course it goes both ways. If the same crowd had supported Il Vostro Boutique when it set up shop in town for the RNC, perhaps we'd have more fashionable stores downtown. Don't wait for free night cream to get out of your cubicles, ladies! | Mpls.St.Paul Magazine © 2008 MSP Communications, Inc. All rights reserved