Posts Tagged ‘wayzata’
Oh no! Oh Baby! Outlet in Wayzata is closing. Saturday, Aug. 27 will be the final day to shop discounted luxury goods for children.
It ends the local retailer’s 10-year presence at 743 E. Lake St. in Wayzata. Originally, the Wayzata store was a second full-price Oh Baby! boutique. But when the flagship store at Galleria nearly quadrupled its size a couple of years ago, they turned the Wayzata location into an outlet.
The concept – 50 to 75 percent of high end clothes and nursery furnishings – was a good one, but Oh Baby! Chief Financial Officer Tom Lauer says the location just didn’t get enough traffic or draw the Galleria shopper. So when the lease was up, they did not renew.
In all likelihood, we haven’t seen the last of the deals from Oh Baby! The company maintains a warehouse in Edina that could be opened for occasional sales. Stay tuned!
Extrados has closed its Wayzata location, home to the Unmentionables lingerie boutique and brow/facial services. It was simply an economic decision, a spokeswoman for the company says. The lingerie business has been lagging and it made sense to consolidate spa services at the main Extrados location in Linden Hills. Of course, owner and brow guru Leah Simon-Clarke built her clientele in Wayzata and has a loyal following, so don’t be surprised if she pops up in the western ‘burbs again.
It was just two and a half years ago that Wayzata’s premier stationery store, Watermark, moved off scenic Lake Street for a bigger, sparkling new space on the more heavily trafficked Wayzata Boulevard. Turns out, visibility isn’t everything. Watermark is heading back to Lake Street and downsizing, due to shifting customer demands.
“Watermark was founded on Lake Street in 1990, and while people loved the pretty decor of our new spot, we heard our patrons telling us they missed us on Lake Street,” says manager Alexis Harsh. “I just had a customer say ‘Oh! You’re heading back to Wayzata.’ Even though we’ve been just a few streets away.”
Watermark is taking the spot between D’Amico and Graham Jewelers at 810 E. Lake St. The new design studio/store opening April 4 will be more focused on custom invitations - by far the fastest growing part of the business. The grab-and-go paper goods and gifts, which Watermark beefed up when it moved to Wayzata Boulevard, have proven a tougher sell.
“Admittedly, the big box companies make it very difficult for boutiques like ours to compete,” Harsh says. “Vendors we have carried for years are landing huge contracts with Target to design a line just for them – very similar to what they design for their dealers like us, yet at a third of the cost.”
Watermark will continue to offer some paper goods and monogrammed gifts. Meanwhile, a moving sale is on now at the 1160 Wayzata Blvd. E. store: 50 to 75 percent off cards, boxed invitations for all occasion, frames, baby gifts, candles, pens and more from Russel + Hazel, Jellycat, Filofax and other brands.
Wow. Really, wow. I knew Excelsior was closing Water Street for tonight’s Exc & The City Fashion Show. But never did I expect the audience to fill Water Street. More than 400 people, from high school students to grandmas, came out to see the best of downtown Excelsior’s boutiques. There were sexy shorts and hot swimsuits and crazy Vikings-themed fur leg warmers and chic shades. Excelsior is no longer a place to go mainly for the scenery and ice cream – there are several stores with contemporary fashions, high end swimwear and bridal, men’s apparel, gifts, the best parfumerie in the Twin Cities (La Petite Parfumerie), jewelry, home furnishings, beauty salons and more. Once a sleepy little main street in the shadows of nearby lakefront shopping district, Wayzata, Excelsior has become the bigger draw. Career retailer Bill Damberg, who opened casual apparel store Brightwater in Excelsior just a few weeks ago, said deciding where to locate was obvious. “I sat in coffee houses everywhere – Grand Avenue, Linden Hills, West End, Wayzata, and Excelsior was the one place where people were talking about what’s going on in town. There’s a sense of community here, and that’s the kind of community I want to be involved in.” It’s a good reminder that a town or shopping center can’t rest on its reputation. Rent is cheaper in Excelsior than Wayzata. Retailers say Excelsior’s local government minimizes the red tape. And the stores work together to promote their town. They’re extremely organized, with a calendar of events and a theme for each. During Girls Night Out every Thursday, you’ll find virtually every shop and restaurant participating with extended hours and great specials. There’s no attitude, just a whole lot of enthusiasm, and shoppers are responding in kind.
Zelaz is on the move again. Following stints at Ridgedale and the Wayzata Bay Center, the locally owned tween and teen retailer plans to settle down in Excelsior. The new location will open Thursday, May 20 at 287 Water St. Let’s hope the third spot’s the charm for this mother-daughter owned boutique – one of the very few independents that balances a look trendy enough for tweens but modest enough for their moms. Click here for details on the opening sale.
The thing about outlet shopping is it's hit and miss. You have to be willing to dig and sometimes leave empty handed. That's why I applaud Oh Baby! Outlet for being so forthcoming about what's in store each week at the new Wayzata shop. New today, for example: Lili Gaufrette spring 2009 fashions, nursery furniture, moses baskets and bedding. While it doesn't guarantee that you'll walk out with what you want, at least you have a better idea what to expect. Visit the website before you shop each Thursday through Saturday and when you're there, sign up for the email list for more insider tips.
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.
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.
Another blow to downtown Wayzata: home store Soleil Brule has moved to Gaviidae Common in downtown Minneapolis. As I recently reported on AliShops.com, East Lake Street is looking a bit sleepy with the former Bumbershute and Indulge & Bloom spaces sitting empty. The addition of Dichotomy in the former Watermark space just isn't enough. The lakeside setting is picturesque – a true escape without leaving town – but winters a long in Wayzata. The locals flee and ice fishermen aren't known for posh shopping. Frankly, the owner of Soleil Brule told me foot traffic in Wayzata was marginal year round. She's hoping to get more notice downtown. If the store stays open past the holidays, you'll know the move was a good one.
If you visit Soleil Brule at its new location, be sure to take advantage of an exclusive discount for AliShops readers. Get the details at Sales/Specials.
Recently I asked one of the owners of Bluebird Boutique how she felt about the arrival of Bumbershute, which could be perceived as competition for the designer dollar. "Great," she said, and I’m inclined to believe her logic – "now her Wayzata customers have reason to shop at 50th and France. The more the merrier." Indeed, power in numbers was on the mind of Bumbershute owner Kathryn Paulsrud when she made the big move. She figured 50th is more of a regional draw. And becoming more so every day. Nani Nalu made the move from Ridgedale Center to 50th. Priscilla of Boston, like Monique Lhuillier, picked it for its first Twin Cities store. And the latest announcement: St. Paul destination boutique Stephanie’s will open a second store at 50th in August – the same month the Bluebird girls will debut their accessories store, Ladyslipper Boutique. 50th has always been a distinguished address, but lately, there’s an undeniable energy as the shopping district proves itself to be the destination for boutique shopping in the Twin Cities with a well rounded mix of styles and price points (plus great places to eat and drink). If you want to impress your out-of-town fashionista friends, there’s no question where to take them.