Posts Tagged ‘uptown’
It’s been the worst kept retail secret for months, but finally, Jonathan Adler, the home furnishings and design company, has confirmed that it is building a store in Uptown at 1436 W. Lake St.–across the street from American Apparel. It could open as soon as March. A splashy opening party is in the works, too, and Mr. Adler intends to be there. Stay tuned for more details.
Jonathan Adler is currently hiring an assistant manager and sales associates for a Minneapolis store listed on the company website as “coming soon.” Two local retail authorities have told me that Jonathan Adler plans to open a store in Uptown, near Lake and Hennepin. A company spokeswoman said this week that discussing it would be premature since the deal is not finalized. But the job listing does suggest negotiations are headed in the right direction.
Jonathan Adler is a home design company known for colorful, modern home furnishings and accessories. A company store would be a coup for Minneapolis, and in particular for Uptown, which is trying to position itself as a destination for contemporary design.
CB2 opens Saturday in Uptown and if tonight’s hopping preview party was any indication, people are excited to welcome Crate & Barrel’s urban contemporary sister store to Hennepin Avenue. What’s nice is the Chicago-based retailer seems equally excited to be here–buyers were planning to check out their competition–er, neighbors–this weekend. There’s a nice little contemporary scene brewing in Uptown, with Roam‘s new store, Design Within Reach, and now CB2′s sprawling one-level store anchoring the corner. This is CB2′s 11th store nationwide.
I was living in Chicago 11 years ago when the first CB2 opened, targeting, well, me. It was clearly a level below Crate & Barrel, focused on inexpensive, but well designed accessories for city dwellers. The store has grown up with me–more clearly defining its contemporary aesthetic and adding furniture, lighting, tableware and accessories galore. Prices are by no means IKEA cheap, but there are fewer 1s in front of the sofa prices, which is reassuring…even all these years after college. 3045 Hennepin Ave. S., Mpls.
Nadeau didn’t instantly wow me when I walked in the door at the corner of 27th and Hennepin in Uptown. It’s a big, plain room packed – and not very artfully so – with a whole lot of wood furniture. I was surprised to learn this is not just another local shop giving it a go, but the 15th location for a fast growing Santa Monica, Calif.-based company with stores in New York, Chicago, Miami and Dallas.
Tom and Ryoko Nadeau started importing hardwood furniture and decorative accessories from Indonesia to a Los Angeles warehouse in 1991. Now, they have relationships with suppliers around the world. They call it “furniture with a soul,” and stick to certain standards: Not mass produced, no laminates, no assembly required and not what you’d find at a chain store. Best of all, prices seemed extremely reasonable – from tables and chairs to trunks, shelves and dressers. The manager of the Minneapolis store told me Nadeau typically receives two containers of goods per month. Definitely worth checking out. 2756 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, 612-208-1540
Exclusive Uptown, Minneapolis boutique Intoto is closing after 21 years (sale details here). The economy is not to blame. Owner Karen Heithoff is 65, has five grandkids in New York and other interests to pursue on her bucket list. “It was just time,” she says. If you’re not familiar with Intoto, it’s probably because you couldn’t afford it – the store stocked luxury labels like Dries van Noten, Phillip Lim and Paul Smith and never apologized for it. “When we opened, our customer wasn’t shopping in Minneapolis – they would shop when they traveled,” Heithoff said. “We romanced those customers. They really trusted us.” Despite the coming of the Mall of America and the steady ascent of the Galleria, despite more recent high end boutique arrivals like OPM, and our more recent love affair with fast fashion from the likes of H&M and Forever 21, Heithoff believes there is room in the Twin Cities for another designer store like hers. Here are her secrets:
- Service. “We would do anything for our customers. We really became friends with them.”
- Have a point of view. “Our customers learned to appreciate our taste. We educated them. If you confuse your customers by switching directions all the time, it’s the kiss of death.”
- Don’t be ruled by the economy. If you’re a high end store, stick with it, even in tough times. “Of course it’s been challenging in the last 18 months, but if someone wants a $10 t-shirt, they can buy that elsewhere, not from me,” Heitoff said. “In our case, our customers are loyal and they continued shopping with us.” Her one concession, within the lines she stocked, she looked for a broader range of price points.
- Don’t underestimate the market. “There’s a refined fashion look in Minneapolis that could be worn anywhere. It’s very sharp.”
Ivy is closing after five years in Uptown. Owner Ini Iyamba, who hosted a denim event just last weekend, said simply, "It's the perfect time to say goodbye." All merchandise is now 50 percent off. Sounds like talks for an Ivy store at Shops at West End are off.
Grand Avenue institution My Sister's Closet is bringing its mix of consignment and vintage…to Uptown! The sisters felt the retail-heavy neighborhood was missing a great resale store and they plan to fill that void with a second location. The store at 2741 Hennepin Ave. is scheduled to open – and begin accepting merchandise – Feb. 1. Watch AliShops.com for details on grand opening events.
Jon Charles Salon in Uptown is marching its popular Blowdry Bootcamp free styling seminars straight out to Wayzata where a second salonis set to open this weekend next door to Punch Pizza on Wayzata Blvd. It will be a full service salon – with a twist. Marketing master Jon Charles (his "stimulus promotion" is still on, thanks to yet another plug, this time in O magazine – of course, you read it here first) plans to run bootcamps as often as four nights a week. Great way to get new people into the salon and excited about what the stylists can do. The salon also has an abundance of meeting space, which Charles plans to rent out on a daily basis. The vision: Hold your business meeting at the salon, and everyone gets a cut over lunch! "Companies are always looking for ways to bond," Charles says. The staff that gets blowouts together, works better together. Or at least, looks good while working.
Covered, which brought contemporary fashion and designer denim to the University of Minnesota, has quietly closed its Dinkytown boutique. Owner Stacy Larson plans to focus on the larger location she opened in Uptown. It's incredibly difficult for a local retailer to maintain two stores – especially in this economy. "Dinkytown is a great neighborhood that helped Covered establish a terrific relationship with a young, fashionable clientele," Larson said in a statement. "We are bringing our A-game to the Uptown store and have some really exciting developments in the works. Stay tuned!"
At an event for local retailers this week, Bay Street Shoes president Darrel Besikof expressed dismay at the way customers today will brazenly pick up a full price item and shout out an offer. He gets offended. Frustrated. Even hurt. But sometimes, if the offer is reasonable, he’ll take it.
In this economy, Besikof says he either had to power up, or get out. He is building a brand new store at Calhoun Square, twice the size of the old one. It is expected to open in the fall.