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15 posts categorized "Clothing biz"

February 02, 2014

Teen fashion store closes at mall to make room for lingerie shop

After 13 years in Rochester's Apache Mall, teen clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch closed its doors last week.
A wall now covers where the 9,234-square-foot store once operated between Forever 13 and Hers in the Macy's wing of the mall.

It looks like the store never existed.

The Apache Mall management confirmed the fate of A & F on its Facebook page this weekend.

NOTE FROM KIGER: I know the mall forbids any unapproved photography of stores. I did not take this photo and I don't know who did.

"Unfortunately Abercrombie & Fitch's lease expired and they did leave Apache Mall," according to the posting. "However, Victoria's Secret will be relocating to their space in the spring."

Staff at Victoria's Secret confirmed the planned move, which could happen as soon as May. It'll remain open in the current locations until the new space is ready. The change should be a significant expansion for the lingerie store, if it takes all of the A&F space. Victoria's current store in the JC Penney wing is 5,641 square foot.

While A & F's closing came as surprise to Apache shoppers and neighboring mall stores, it was in the works for a while. The mall applied for a building permit for the project valued at $495,000 on Dec. 6.

However, the application did not mention Abercrombie & Fitch. The application for a remodel for Victoria's Secret did list the mall store number as 694, which is where A & F was located. Victoria's current store number is 656. It's not known what store might take Victoria's spot, when it eventually moves.

A & F, which is known for its loud music and its posters of scantily clad teen models, opened in the Apache Mall in the spring of 2000. It was a successful store for the mall, which lists its top three performing retail categories as teen apparel, women's apparel and women's accessories.

Abercrombie_Fitch_LogoThe past few years have not been kind to the once-trendy teen retailer with same-store sales steadily dropping. The bright spot at the start of 2014 was that its same-store sales only dropped 4 percent in the U.S., which was less than expected. It followed that with a re-organization of its top executives last week.

Its primary strategy to combat slumping sales has been to close stores. It closed 71 in 2012, which included three in Minnesota. Following the Rochester store closure, it now has only two in Minnesota.

About 50 more stores were closed in 2013. Abercrombie leaders pledged in 2013 that the company would ultimately shutter a total of 180 stores by 2015.

February 20, 2013

Downtown Roch. spot to get 'scrubbed'

Look for a downtown Rochester spot to get "scrubbed.

"Trademark Uniforms Inc., which has a scrubs, medical and culinary wear shop in South Dakota, is opening a store at 112 First Ave. S.W. in Rochester.

2968_WNEBOwner Scott Mehlhaff said his primary supplier, Cherokee, had been looking for someone to fill the void left when Scrubs & Clogs by Mia & Fia closed last year.

"Our name bubbled up. Of course, we weren't going to pass up an opportunity to come to Rochester," Mehlhaff said.

He said he hopes to open the Med City version of Trademark Uniforms by mid-March. The store is moving into the space recently vacated by the About Face beauty boutique. It will be staffed by a team four when it opens.

"I really wanted to make sure that we'd be in downtown, if we're going to be in Rochester," Mehlhaff said. The First Avenue location puts his store a couple blocks from the bulk of his customer base, Mayo Clinic's downtown campus.

The deal to put Trademark there was brokered by Darci Fenske of Paramark Real Estate.
One catch to the storefront is, at 900 square feet, it is much smaller than his South Dakota store.

"We're going to have to be very selective about what lines we display," he said. "Of course, we're much different than a standard retail store, though we certainly like walk-in customers."

That means Trademark likes to work with groups and often goes to their customers to offer "fashion" shows and group fittings.

In addition to traditional medical scrubs, Trademark also sells lab coats as well as "whites" for chefs and cooks.

Mehlhaff, who has visited Rochester to bring family members to Mayo Clinic for medical tests, said he is very excited about opening a store in the Med City.

"We really love how welcoming the city is. It is great," he said. "I know it sounds corny, but coming here is so comfortable that it is kind of like coming home."

August 09, 2012

No need to wait Forever - fashion retailer opening Sat.

 Forever starts in Rochester this Saturday.

That's the day of the grand opening of the new Forever 21 store in the Apache Mall.

Forever 21 is a fashion-forward clothing store for young women and men. Located in the Macy’s wing of the Apache Mall, the 12,686-square-foot store will encompass the former Disney Store space and more.

The new store will open the doors at 10 a.m. and the first 200 customers will get a free gift card. Four people will be win what Forever 21 describes as "One of the season's hottest outfits, valued up to $150."

08082012forever21Los Angeles-based Forever 21 is known for carrying "fast fashion" at prices that fit the budgets of people ranging from college students to young professionals in their late 20s and 30s.

Beside clothes and accessories, Forever 21 will also sell shoes, cosmetics and lingerie.

Kim Bradley, the mall's general manager, commented earlier this year that, “Adding Forever 21 to our existing unique selection of fashion retailers provides the Rochester community with yet another reason to shop at Apache Mall.” 

Since this was first announced in February, there has been a lot of interest in this store opening, according to the company.

Thanks for the pic, Anna. Get in line early.

“We are very pleased to have been given the opportunity to expand our business into Rochester…," says Larry Meyer, executive vice president of Forever 21.

This will be the company's fourth store in Minnesota. The others are in the Mall of America, Rosedale and Maplewood.

April 24, 2012

Soma Intimates unveiled in downtown Roch.

Looks like the opening of Soma Intimates in Shops at University Square in downtown Rochester slipped by me.

04242012somastoreopeningSoma, which is owned by the same company as Chico's women's clothing store, sells a full line of women's lingerie and sleepwear.

It moved into and renovated the 2,100-square-foot storefront on the mall's main level. Sopra Sotto, the Italian import shop, last occupied that spot.

This puts Soma about directly under its sister store Chico's, which is on the second floor.

March 05, 2012

Some Mayo Clinic workers not happy with dress code change

Here's some from Jeff Hansel's Pulse on Health column today.

It seems Mayo Clinic is dressing things up a bit by requiring its desk employees to wear more upscale clothing.  Personally, I don't think I've ever been concerned about the clothing of a Mayo worker when I was going there for needed medical care or to refill a prescription. I could be in the minority there.

Anyway, this is kind of an interesting discussion:

Mayo Clinic leaders in Rochester might need to do some fence mending.
It doesn't matter who's right or wrong. Feelings have been hurt.

A recent announcement says about 900 desk employees will be required to get new uniforms, a Mayo spokesman said. Clinical assistants (who perform tasks like helping patients in the restroom) and desk staff will order on credit, switching from scrubs to black pants with light-blue shirts.

A Mayo Q&A says they'll repay up to $400 per worker for the cost of the uniforms over the course of up to two years.

The decision, based on months of planning by a committee, triggered a firestorm of online comments from Mayo workers.

"Mayo is a great place to work … with great wages and benefits," one said on an internal Mayo communication site. "It just seems like none of our opinions matter."

Lack of attention to how directly affected workers feel is a key complaint. There are others. For example, some are frustrated that an out-of-town company ships uniforms from an international supplier. They wonder, why not support local shops?

Commenters nicknamed themselves "LPEs" or low-paid employees, and said they struggle already paycheck-to-paycheck, making new uniform cost a burden.


"I think this is an incredible elitist and insensitive decision…," one commenter wrote.

February 13, 2012

Fashionable retailer to try Apache Mall on for size

Here's some from column in today's paper about the latest on the movement underway at Rochester's Apache Mall:

A fashion-forward clothing store that targets a youthful crowd thinks Rochester's Apache Mall is a good fit.

Look for Forever 21 to pop up this year at the mall.

Img-thingForever 21, which carries trendy clothes and accessories for women and men, announced last week that it will open a 12,686-square-foot store in the fall.

It will be located in the Macy’s wing of the mall and will encompass the former Disney Store space plus more.

“Adding Forever 21 to our existing unique selection of fashion retailers provides the Rochester community with yet another reason to shop at Apache Mall,” said Kim Bradley, the mall's general manager.

The retailer has a reputation for carrying "fast fashion" at prices that fit the budgets of people ranging from college students to young professionals in their late 20s and 30s.

It is also known for its bright yellow bags with "John 3:16," which refers to a well-known Bible scripture, printed on the bottom.

November 21, 2011

Is Thanksgiving shopping too much?

I'm writing a Black Friday shopping precede article.

Thanksgiving-turkeyThe hot topic seems to be the fact some stores are opening on Thanksgiving for shopping with Old Navy being open all day and Walmart opening at 10 p.m.

The bulk of other stores like Target, Best Buy and the most of the Apache Mall shops are opening at midnight, which is really only one minute away from Thanksgiving.

These moves have incensed many people and have inspired a wave declarations of the sacredness of Thanksgiving and outrage at this violation of the holiday.

• I'm looking for resactions from Rochester shoppers to this.

• Is this an abomination?

• Is it not a big deal?

• Are you going out to shop on Thanksgiving? Black Friday? Never?

• If you are going out early, what deals are drawing you out?




November 16, 2011

Old Navy opening in new home NOW

After whirlwind of activity, Old Navy is opening the doors of its new south Rochester store in just a few minutes

6a00d83451cc8269e20162fbe1b4a1970d-800wi-1It is expected to open at 5 p.m. tonight.

Its new 15,000-square-foot home is nestled between Dick's Sporting Goods and Maurice's in the Shoppes on Maine development. That's on the south edge of Rochester.

The move truly began when its long-time store near Wal-Mart South closed for the day Tuesday. It didn't re-open Wednesday morning and now it is just an empty shell as Old Navy is buzzing in its new Rochester home.

Store Manager Mark Turany says the store will celebrate its grand opening on Saturday with activities, face-painting and lots of specials.

November 11, 2011

Christopher & Banks to close 100 stores

Women's clothing store chain Christopher & Banks announced today that it will close 100 stores by the end of January.

So is the C&B store in Rochester's Apache Mall in the list?

I don't know. The names of the 100 condemned stores won't be released until Dec. 22. That is probably good inspiration for workers to push hard to churn out some good numbers through the holiday season.

Nothing like a sword hanging over your neck to spur people on to greatness. Heh.

Here's some from today's announcement by the Minneapolis-based company:

Christopher & Banks Corporation, a specialty women's apparel retailer, today announced that the Company's Board of Directors, after reviewing the results of an in-depth analysis of the Company's Christopher__and__Banks-logo-E63FD16A4F-seeklogo.comstore portfolio, authorized plans to close approximately 100 stores, almost all of which are underperforming, with a significant majority targeted for completion by the end of January, 2012. As part of the Company's overall real estate strategy, the Company also will seek to restructure the occupancy costs of a majority of its remaining stores. In addition, the Company intends to accelerate its plans to convert or consolidate a number of its existing Christopher & Banks and CJ Banks stores into dual format stores.

The Company also announced that effective October 28, 2011 it implemented a workforce reduction involving its home office and field management organization.


Additional details regarding the impact of these decisions will be provided as part of the Company's next quarterly earnings release, which is currently scheduled for December 22, 2011.

October 25, 2011

A wooly ride - A new Roch. yarn shop is all sewn up

I know many roving bands of free-style knitters (I'm looking at you, Courtney) have been forced to raid other cities since Kristen's Knits closed in Rochester earlier this year.Yarn

So the rise of a new specialty yarn shop will probably spur celebration among the needle and yarn crowd.

Check out the print version of my column where I tie up all the loose ends and unravel all of the details. Heh.


Rochester has a been a little less colorful for the large contingent of local knitters, since the Med City's only specialty yarn shop closed earlier this year.

Now two women are opening a new store to brighten things up again for Rochester yarn fans.

Deb Zipse and Catherine Aagenes, two avid knitters, are stitching up Hank & Purl's Creative Nook and Knittery in the River Center Plaza at 1615 N. Broadway.

That puts it just a few doors down from another destination for local fans of fiber arts, the Quilting Cupboard.