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Posts Tagged ‘Ruehl’

Martin + Osa’s final season

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Grown-ups frequently complain that mall stores cater to teens. Yet one by one, the "grown-up" concepts introduced by the big three: Gap (Forth & Towne), Abercrombie & Fitch (Ruehl No. 925) and most recently, American Eagle's Martin + Osa, have failed. Do the chains not understand what post-college shoppers want to wear into their 30s and beyond? Or are those shoppers not buying what they say they want? With Martin + Osa, I'd say it's a bit of both. AE didn't skimp on the trappings at Martin + Osa: the dramatic wood store exterior, the musky scent, the spacious fitting rooms that are like an escape to the country. Perhaps they should have spent more time developing the look of the clothes. A little bit J. Crew, a little Banana – Martin + Osa offered some great basics (I own several), but failed to truly distinguish itself and connect with its intended customer base. That said, shoppers need to step out of their rut, stop complaining and consider the alternatives – or the alternatives disappear and we're left with ultra low rise skinny, relaxed cut capris and not a whole lot in between.
But not quite yet. Martin + Osa is still receiving new spring merchandise and stores, including the Mall of America location, will remain open until they sell through it (sale merch is currently and extra 30% off; jeans are $25 off). Stores will close by July or August – maybe sooner, as people discover Martin + Osa, now that it's getting some attention.

Never Ruehled

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Feeling rather burned out on the whole Gap/Banana situation, I was pleased when Abercrombie & Fitch brought its "grown-up" concept, Ruehl No. 925, to Mall of America. But that enthusiasm quickly turned to disappointment when I saw (as much as someone of my advanced age can see in one of Abercrombie's dimly lit stores) the usual selection of expensive jeans and overpriced tees. Seemed their idea of what people want when they outgrow Abercrombie was more of the same, just priced higher. As often as I'm at MOA, I must admit, I returned to Ruehl only once or twice more – it just never made my regular route…or that of most shoppers', apparently. Ruehl will close this week at MOA, and around the country. And more dark days are ahead for the chain that once thought it was above sales and discounts. Abercombie & Fitch at Rosedale Center is said to be closing this month as well.

Ruehl doesn’t rule

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

Maybe there isn’t life after distressed denim and cargo pants.
Finally got over to Mall of America to check out Ruehl No. 925Abercrombie & Fitch‘s attempt to outfit post-grads. Located on the second level of MOA outside Nordstrom, right next door to the other new A&F concept, Gilly Hicks, Ruehl clearly used the same design team, with a brick facade and a maze of dimly lit rooms. Nearly impossible to navigate with a stroller, which should matter, when you’re trying to appeal to those of us beyond 21. I was expecting sophisticated new takes on basics for work and play. But the Ruehl wardrobe is designed for the dorm supervisor with a trust fund. Premium denim, lacy camis, cotton tops and sweats. Fewer logos than you’d find at the sister stores, but other than that, it’s basically more of the same, plus handbags priced at $300 and higher. Just what we need.
One corridor over, Levi’s has opened its first company store in town. Yes, more denim. But much less pretense.
Oh, and more jeans to come: True Religion will open a store at MOA in December. Other brands opening stores in the coming months include Nike, Columbia, Lush, Harley Davidson and Frederick’s of Hollywood.

Lacoste opening

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Get ready for a preppy infusion: Lacoste is set to open at Mall Of America on July 10. If you haven’t shopped the brand since the days when it was cool to wear tube socks with cut offs, you’re in for sticker shock: the alligator is a lot more sophisticated second time around. Should be a nice addition for MOA, where the designer options are still rather limited beyond the department stores. Also opening at the mall in July: Ruehl No. 925, Abercrombie’s answer for post-grads and the Twin Cities’ first Levis shop.

New at MOA

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

It’s been a while since Mall of America had an exciting announcement
that didn’t involve SpongeBob. (The Nickelodeon Universe theme park
is supposed to open March 15, by the way.) But finally, MOA is rolling out the welcome mat for a whole new crop of stores, including two new concepts from Abercrombie & Fitch: Gilly Hicks Sydney, "an upscale but moderately priced" underwear brand launching world-wide this year and Ruehl, targeting the post-Abercrombie generation of 22 to 35-year-olds with urban business casual apparel.  After Gap’s "grown-up" Forth & Towne brand tanked before making it to Minneapolis, I’m glad we’re going to get a shot at shopping Ruehl. Other newcomers in the next few months will include Gymboree’s fancier line, Janie and Jack as well as company stores from Levis and Lacoste. Just when shopping starts to seem staid, MOA does come through, reminding us of its power to draw big brands. I just hope someone in this price-sensitive town is actually buying those lovely things at the new Burberry store.


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