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Ali Shops Blog

Posts Tagged ‘store closings’

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.

Bebe Babble closing

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Yhst-11577408532747_2087_95107328[1] Bummer. Chic children's boutique Bebe Babble in Edina's Morningside neighborhood will close at the end of the month. It will live on online at Bebebabble.com, where shoppers might be more receptive to $85 little girls' dresses (Suri Cruise, this means you!). In its four years, Bebe Babble raised the bar for stylish, high end children's clothing and furnishings. Owner Kendra Lewis, a Target vet, has also been a big supporter of local talent. She recently started developing her own pretty, yet modern line of Bebe Babble clothing – wouldn't be surprised if we see that in other boutiques soon. Her sharp eye will be missed on the streets (especially while waiting for a table at Convention Grill). See Sales/Specials for details on Bebe Babble's closing sale.

Going out of business sale to stay open?

Friday, August 28th, 2009

In a last-ditch effort to save its three shops, veteran Twin Cities retailer Sonnie's is staging what looks a whole lot like a going out of business sale. The signs say "Fighting For Survival Sale" and that's exactly what Sonnie's is trying to do, but with brand new fall merchandise already discounted by 40 and 50 percent, shoppers are easily getting the wrong idea. Owner Barb Bergen isn't worried – she told me Friday she needed to shake things up – and this massive sale is doing just that. But she spent the afternoon "softening" the windows at the Rosedale store, fearing the stark black signs and lack of clothing in the windows might be giving customers the wrong idea.

The Good Life is over

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

Another week, another boutique closing. Sigh. This time it's The Good Life in Wayzata, an independent gift store and art gallery. "Economic forces make it impossible for me to continue," owner Anne Davidson told me. A closing sale is underway. Details in Sales/Specials.


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