New Year, New Stores
etail is an ever-changing industry—if you don’t keep up you’ll be (un)fashionably left behind! Although we’ve been in a recession for the past year local retail has given us hope that there is still business to be done; namely, shopping. I’ve seen a few NEW stores open, location moves and even two shops adding second locations!
Nutzy Mutz & Crazy CatzFirst Location: 330 W. Lakeside St. 256-3647. nutzymutz.comNew Location: 555 S. Midvale Blvd. (Sequoya Commons). 233-2287.Opened: August 2009Size: 932 square feet Why a second location? “Kelly Financial and the project manager of Sequoya Commons asked if was interested in opening in Sequoya Commons,” says owner Liz Perry (shown in the photo above). “I wasn’t sure I wanted to open a second location. In my business plan I wanted to open a second location after three years in business and it had only been two years. So, I ended up opening [the second location] in 2 ½ years! It’s a neighborhood community so they’re really supportive and are great neighborhood people. I feel really lucky I have two locations.”Any different product lines? “It’s pretty similar. There are some different products but not many. One I’m excited about for the new location is Souldier Collars that are made with over six hundred vintage fabric choices and repurposed seatbelts.”Hours: (S. Midvale) Mon–Fri 10–7, Saturday 10–5, Sundays 10–4
The Purple GooseFirst Location: 400 W. Verona Ave. 845-2368. Shopthepurplegoose.comNew Location: 117 S. Pinckney St. (Phone number coming; call the Verona store for now)Opened: November 2009Size: 1,600 square feet shared with Studio Quest, a hair salonWhy a second location? “We’ve been hearing from more of our customers that they would like to shop The Purple Goose more often and would do so if it was downtown. We had been looking for six to eight months and this was a good opportunity to get started,” says owner Halley Jones. Any different product lines? Jones says eighty to ninety percent of the downtown location is focused on women’s clothing, accessories and jewelry because of the smaller space. There is a small assortment of infant and gift items for children, too.”One thing that made us successful in Verona was our commitment to keeping prices affordable and that’s the same commitment we have downtown. Our average price is $45 for clothing and $25 for jewelry. The commitment to quality and price is important to everyone now, no matter where your store is,” says Jones.So you’re in the same space as a salon? “[Customers] love the fact that we make their lives a little easier and convenient. We’re offering a product and service they wouldn’t normally think of doing together. There are clients of Studio Quest that haven’t heard of us. But people think it’s a great addition—they’ll get their hair done or they’ll shop while their hair is processing! Verona has a very homey feeling and I was afraid we wouldn’t be able to recreate that, but people are gravitating toward [buying] the same things. There was no reason not to do it and the space fits the bill,” says Jones.Hours: Tues–Thurs 10–7, Fri 10–6, Sat 9–3
Whoops! and Co.Location: 555 S. Midvale Blvd. (Sequoya Commons). 236-4555.Opened: August 2009What’s the store concept? “Unique, creative and classic toys, games and gifts,” says co-owner Missy Stein. Items range from infant and baby shower items to adult and family games. Stein says some games are making a comeback like Shoot the Moon, Lincoln Logs, shuffleboard and card games. Customers can stop in and try out and play with the products since they’re all open.Stein says they also do custom stationery for parties, wrap gifts and have party favors. You’re able to do [your party planning] in one stop, which is nice.”Why did you choose Sequoya Commons for your location? “Because of the neighborhood. It’s diverse with a lot of young families, grandparents and kids. We’re next to the Chocolate Shoppe, EVP Coffee and Nutzy Mutz & Crazy Catz, so it’s a unique mix of retail. It’s different from a mall experience,” says Stein. Pucci’s Gallery and a new library are also in Sequoya Commons, too.I recall a Whoops! and Co. somewhere else in Madison years ago. “Yes, there was one on Mineral Point Road in Cambridge Court that closed. We decided to bring it back. There are two other locations in northern Wisconsin but all are owned by different owners.”Average price point: $.50–$70
ReThreadsLocation: 410 State St., 257-1018. (formerly Scoshi). rethreadsclothing.comOpened: October 2009What’s the store concept? “We’re a buy-sell-trade store. We welcome people to bring in clothing and we’ll take a look and see what we can take and price it. Whatever we price their clothing at [the customer can get] thirty-five percent of the value in cash or fifty percent in store trade,” says manager Tasha Poepping. What types of clothing do you take? “We take vintage clothing from the 1930s–1970s as well as name-brand modern clothing as well. We’re trying to do the recycled clothing thing and get people more into vintage clothing,” says Poepping. ReThreads accepts men’s and women’s clothing, accessories, shoes and handbags.Why did you choose State Street for your location? Peopping says the owner wanted the college crowd as well as tourists. “It’s a good spot to be at,” she says. (Ed’s note: ReThreads has a second location that opened in Milwaukee in March 2009).What are the most exciting vintage pieces you’ve seen through the door? “We got a really amazing bracelet from the 1800s. We get a lot of great vintage dresses in. I think we got a Chanel dress that sold pretty quickly. We get a lot of vintage designer pieces in.” What won’t you take? Anything with stains, holes or pilling. It has to be in good condition for the shop to take it.Average price point: $6-$200
Title NineLocation: 662 N. Midvale Blvd. 310-5590. titlenine.comOpened: November 2009What’s the store concept? This is Title Nine’s fourteenth store and first Midwest location (others are in California, Colorado, Idaho Washington and Texas). Title Nine’s core is women’s active and casual wear, which includes zip-up performance tops, tanks, leggings and pants, shoes and more. Most know what Title Nine is but to clarify store manager Wendy Stanley let me know via email that, “Title IX is a piece of legislation included in the Education Amendments 1972 that requires schools that receive federal funds to provide girls and women with equal opportunity to compete in sports.”Why did you choose Hilldale for your loccation? “We picked Madison because it is full of current and future Title Nine women who want to have clothing that help them do whatever they do to the best of their ability,” says Stanley. Who is Title Nine’s customer? Stanley says that their website models are full-time moms or have full-time careers outside the home yet they still “somehow manage to weave sports and fitness into their hectic lives.”Average price point: $15–$70
Woldenberg’s moved from Hilldale Mall west to Greenway Station. The store opened in October 2009 and has 4,500 square feet of retail space.
Moms and moms-to-be get ready—Hot Mama will add to the sorely lacking maternity-wear area in Madison. Slated to open in April 2010, it’ll be right next to Title Nine, an active wear store that opened in November 2009. According to a company press release Hot Mama is ” … an upscale boutique that is a fashion resource for moms offering hip designer clothing and denim that fits a mom’s age and lifestyle.” This includes clothing, jewelry and accessories. Hilldale.com
West Towne Mall’s recent additions of Forever 21, Swarovski and Francesca’s Collections have given many a woman something to be excited about. Now West Towne’s opening even more stores this spring: Mrs. Fields, a cookie/muffin/brownie purveyor; Teavana, featuring fresh, high quality teas; and Zumiez, a snowboard/skateboard retailer. In addition Longhorn Steakhouse is under construction on the outskirts of the mall.West Towne Mall, shopwesttowne-mall.com