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.