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20 posts categorized "Clothing biz"

September 11, 2014

Nu On U to close its doors to pursue new opportunities

After a four year run on North Broadway, a women's clothing resale store called Nu On U is preparing to close up shop as its owner takes on new projects.

48006_153372731356200_2669327_n"We're going to be sorry to say good-bye to Rochester. Business has gone well. It has been a terrific location," said Donna Gates, who has helped her daughter Kisa Bisek run the 1,600-square-foot storefront in the Dison Cleaners Center at 200 N. Broadway.

For Med City old timers, that's the spot that previously housed Wireless Toyz and Hobbit Travel back before that.

They have launched a "going out of business" sale. Gates says they plan on selling everything, including many of the store fixtures and mannequins.

Unlike when many stores close, this closure is not about slow sales. The resale shop was Bisek's brainchild and now she's ready for something new.

"My daughter is being offered other business opportunities, so it's time to shut this down," Gates said.

Nu On U was at the forefront of the surge in resale and consignment stores in Rochester, when it opened in August 2010. It purchases gently used girl's and women's clothing, shoes and accessories with the intent to resell them. By listening to its customers over the years, the store earned a loyal following.

When announcing the closing, Nu On U encouraged its regulars to patronize other similar Rochester shops like Kismet, Refashion, Danielle's Consignment Boutique and Size It Up.

September 04, 2014

New Scheels store shaping up

Lots of activity at the new Scheels All Sports mega-store site at Rochester's Apache Mall this balmy "fall" morning.

04092014scheelsConstruction and partial demolition of the former Sears store site has been rolling along all through the summer on this new sprawling addition to the Med City's sporting goods offering.

Fargo, N.D.-based Scheels estimates that it will be ready to open in early April 2015. The planned 140,000-square foot store will be larger than the 120,000-square-foot Scheels in Mankato.

It is expected to add between 120 to 180 new jobs toScheelsmap2 Rochester.

In addition to sporting goods, its features will include a fudge and coffee bar and a mini bowling alley.

The development for the expanded store also includes Apache Mall adding 9,000-square-foot restaurant site on the east side of the city water tower. 

There's no word yet on what restaurant might be planned for that site.

August 13, 2014

Consignment boutique teeing up move to new Broadway store

Danielle David's Rochester consignment business has outgrown its shop and its name once again.

What started out as Danielle's E-Shoes in a small spot back in 2009 quickly moved into a space double the original space with "& More" tacked on to the business name.  An expansion soon followed and the "E" was dropped.

Now she is teeing up to move Danielle's Shoes & Consignment Boutique to yet another larger store at 1920 South Broadway, next to Golf Headquarters. She plans to move from her current spot at 1310 Seventh St. N.W. in the Northgate Shopping Center at the start of September.

"It's very exciting," said David. "I'll have much better visibility there."

To555814_336424926406363_33872887_n make room for her boutique, Golf Headquarters owner Ed Martens is slicing about 2,000 square feet off of his well-known golf shop. The change won't affect Martens' other tenants, Broadway Veterinary Care and an Edward D. Jones financial services office.

With the changes in retail driven by the Internet, Martens says he will condense his store into a 5,200-square-foot space.

"We'll specialize more, focusing on the brands that are most popular in Rochester," he said.

Martens says his staff will continue to work with shoppers to custom-fit each and every club in their bag instead of the more common practice of adjusting the fit based on one or two swings of one club.

"To battle the Internet, we've got to go out and give that extra special service," he said.

Of course, the Internet is the foundation that David built her business on by starting out by selling on eBay. While she still does that, the name-brand consignment of clothes, purses, jewelry and, of course, shoes, has grown.

With the additional space in the new location, she'll be able to stock more clothes in every size category as well display more clothes for many age groups.

The expansion on her offerings with a continued focus on upscale items drove her to make the latest addition to the business name.

"We want to let people to know what this is. We're a boutique," said David.

May 22, 2014

Hers store to reluctantly close at Apache Mall

Sometimes things don't work out as planned, like a longtime local retailer's return to the Rochester's Apache Mall.

Hers, which has a pair of successful women’s clothing stores in downtown, opened a third store in the Apache Mall in 2012. That signaled the Dahlstrom family's return to the mall, where the first version of their store originally opened 34 years. In fact, the store founder, BoApacheb Dahlstrom, was once the manager of the old Dayton's store in the Apache Mall.

Owner Bruce Dahlstrom, Bob Dahlstrom's son, thought having a store in the mall would help Hers reach customers who don't shop in downtown Rochester.

Now that outreach will soon come to an end. The Apache Mall location put up signs this week announcing the start of "a store closing sale." Bruce Dahlstrom confirms that his Apache Mall store will close its doors at least by the end of July, a move that he feels was forced on Hers.

"It wasn't our choice," he said.

Hers has one year left on its three year lease with the Apache Mall. Dahlstrom had planned to keep that store open at least into 2015. The sales numbers have been "reasonable" to support the store, which has five employees on staff.

3e455f11-88a5-4cb5-81a5-ecfbb83eb371The hitch in that plan is that the Apache Mall management has different plans for the 1,550-square-foot space Hers occupies in the Macy's wing of the mall. Dahlstrom says he was told that  the space was needed for a national tenant.

When contacted for a comment, Mall Manager Kim Bradley said her company, General Growth Management, doesn't discuss such business dealings.

"The gave us the option to re-locate to another spot, but we'd to build it out at our expense," Dahlstrom said. The Rochester retailer had already invested quite a bit in building out the current Apache Mall.

Eventually, a frustrated Dahlstrom decided to just close the Hers store in the mall and put all of his focus on the "healthy" downtown stores as well as its online presence.

May 15, 2014

A new play at Barlow Plaza for two local stores

Some changes are kicking around Rochester's Barlow Plaza for Once Upon A Child and Soccer Advantage.

Once Upon A Child, the "gently used" children's clothing and gear store, has moved over one space and expanded in the center's satellite building along Civic Center Drive Northwest.

05152014onceuponachildThe store, owned by Roger and Sue Mrugala, of Burnsville, has long been an anchor in shopping center. However, it was getting getting cramped in the space and couldn't carry all of the sizes that customers were requesting, according Jen Hatch of Once Upon A Child.

"So when we were given the chance to move to a larger spot, it was perfect for us," she said.

Once Upon, which was based on the north end of the building, moved south into the empty next-door storefront at 1111 Civic Center Drive N.W. Kelley's Quality Sewing Center previously was based there.

The children's clothing store upgraded from a 2,500-square-feet spot into a much a roomier 4,000-square-foot space, after the space was freshened up with new carpet, paint and other touches. It re-opened in the new spot earlier this month.

Hatch says the store is able to carry clothing up to size 16 now and they are able "to dabble in junior sizes." Plus the extra room, "makes the shopping experience more enjoyable for our customers."

Once Upon A Child's southern shift opened up its former spot for Soccer Advantage to make a move to Barlow Plaza from its current home at 3160 Wellner Drive N.E. The Rochester soccer-focused sporting goods shop is locally owned by Dean and Lynn Alcock.

The move will give it more space to play with, plus raise the five-year-old Soccer Advantage's visibility and access, say the Alcocks.

"Moving to a more central location in the city will be great for our customers," said Lynn Alcock.

Their goal is to move by the end of this month so they can be up and running by the time the World Cup soccer matches begin in June. Soccer Advantage will remain open on Wellner Drive until a day or two before making the move.

Dean Alcock, a soccer coach and retailer, says the additional room at the new site will hopefully allow the store to add big-name brands to its line-up of shoes, balls, jerseys and other gear.

"The look of the new store is going be one of the best in the Midwest," he said.

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&f
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.
2702_WHTS
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.
House
It doesn't matter who's right or wrong. Feelings have been hurt.

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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.