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An inside look at top retailers and the consumers they covet

Edina's Galleria loses three more locally owned retailers

Len Druskin and California Closets and Russell + Hazel are the latest locally-owned retailers to leave the Galleria. California Closets left last month,saying in an email that it is temporarily doing business out of its Bloomington offices until a new location can be confirmed. The Galleria location was in the lower level of the Galleria near Len Druskin.

Russell + Hazel announced Tuesday that it too is leaving the Galleria as soon as June. The high-end office and classroom products company will re-locate to the North Loop in Minneapolis. R+H is a short-timer to the Galleria, having opened a small storefront in 2014 after moving from 44th and France.

Michael Druskin announced in an email Tuesday that the Galleria designer clothing store for men and women is moving to Southdale next week after 24 years in the Galleria. "With the end of the Galleria lease came a very difficult decision making process. After so many wonderful years at Galleria, both Galleria/Hines and Len Druskin agreed that this change was in the best interest of both parties."

In its new Southdale store, Druskin will return to all premium merchandise instead of a mix of premium and clearance product. The Len outlet store will remain in Southdale adjacent to the new location with premium full-priced merchandise. The new store for men and women will open Tuesday, Feb. 8 and the Galleria location will close Sat., Feb. 6. All fall/winter merchandise in the Galleria is now 75% off and the remainder is discounted 25 percent.

In December, Gabberts CEO Rod Johansen indicated that the higher-end furniture store is considering a move out of the Galleria too as it considers literally raising the roof in its Galleria store. If that isn't allowed by Edina city planners, the company is “committed to staying in the local area to continue Gabberts’ 67-year history,” Johansen said.

The Galleria has a string local tenants moving out or closing as Hines has changed the mix of the center. Epitome and Epitome Papers closed early this year. In 2015 Brass Handle left, preceded by Three Rooms, Pappagallo, and Whymsy. Que Sera, Rocco Altobelli Salon and Schmitt Music closed or moved prior to Hines' ownership.

Most have been replaced with national tenants, including David Yurman, Sundance, Lululemon, North Face, Kate Spade and PB Teen. Galleria Edina is home to 65 retailers – more than half of which are locally owned. Galleria recently completed a number of lease renewals with local retailers, including Ampersand, Melly, HOBO, Dugo, Scheherazade, Twill and Art Resources.

Meijer, Lucky's, 365 look to enter Twin Cities grocery scene

When Hy-Vee announced last year that it plans to add eight supermarkets in the Twin Cities (two have already opened), consumers salivated at the thought of a reinvigorated supermarket scene. After Rainbow closed or sold its 27 stores in 2014, things looked less competitive. 

But now commercial real estate developers say that three more supermarket chains are looking for locations in the Twin Cities -- Meijer, Lucky's Market and 365 by Whole Foods.

Michigan-based Meijer, whose gargantuan stores outsize a SuperTarget, is supposedly considering four suburban sites. Meijer claims to be a one-stop shop with a major grocery component together with other departments found in a Target or Wal-Mart. Meijer has more than 220 stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and eastern Wisconsin. Cushman &  Wakefield NorthMarq director Deb Carlson said, "General chatter is they are looking, but not projecting any openings for at least a couple of years."

Colorado-based Lucky's Markets, already in 11 states, is also considering the Twin Cities. Similar to Fresh Thyme, which had its Minnesota debut in Bloomington last year, Lucky's looks like a co-op but is slightly larger. 

Whole Foods isn't new to the Twin Cities, but its smaller concept called "365" would be. The compact version of its stores will debut in three locations this year in California and Texas, but up to 10 more are expected around the country in 2017. Although Whole Foods' reps are scouting the Twin Cities, nothing is confirmed yet. What is known is that a new full-line Whole Foods store will open in Woodbury in 2017 and a larger St. Paul store will move to Snelling and Selby this year.

Discount grocer Aldi will open 5 new stores in 2016, Fresh Thyme will open stores in Apple Valley and St. Louis Park this year. Trader Joe's opens a new downtown Minneapolis location in 2017.