Galleria store additions include Arhaus

  • Article by: JANET MOORE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 16, 2012 - 7:57 PM

Ohio-based furniture chain will open a 15,000-square-foot store in the upscale Edina mall.

Edina's upscale Galleria mall on Monday announced the addition or expansion of several national retailers and local boutiques -- plus a couple of departures, as well.

The biggest new arrival is Arhaus Furniture, an Ohio-based chain that prides itself on selling high-quality products that use natural materials and hand-crafted design.

A 15,000-square-foot anchor slated for the Galleria's east end will be the chain's first store in Minnesota when it opens this fall. Minnesota will be the 17th state for Arhaus, which has locations in such trendy locales such as the Meatpacking District in New York City and Lincoln Park in Chicago.

Missouri-based Marmi, a European-influenced women's shoe and accessories retailer, will open a 1,980-square-foot store in late summer. And Milwaukee-based Allure Intimate Apparel will open an 1,800-square-foot flagship boutique at the mall this spring, its third in the Twin Cities after opening in Maple Grove and St. Paul.

"We are always moving the pieces of the puzzle here, trying to figure out what will work best," said Jill Noack, Galleria's vice president and general manager. The mall is usually 95 percent to 97 percent occupied, an unusual occupancy rate for a retail mall in a tough economy.

Departures include Schmitt Music, one of the 35-year-old mall's original tenants, which will move into new space in Richfield, at 66th Street and Xerxes Avenue S., not far from its current digs. Store manager Brian Cheese said the music retailer and instruction studio simply needed more space, on one level.

National maternity retailer A Pea in the Pod will close its Galleria outlet and open at the Mall of America under a different brand, Destination Maternity; Que Sera, a locally owned gift boutique and design studio, will move to downtown Excelsior.

Other stores will move within the mall. Papyrus, a purveyor of custom stationery and greeting cards, will move next to Tiffany & Co. Audio and video retailer Bang & Olufsen will open a showroom on the lower level.

Men's boutique Hammer-Made will double its size. The brainchild of local designer and entrepreneur Jason Hammerberg, it opened in 2009.

"We always try to keep 30 to 40 percent of our mix local," Noack said. "That way we can carve out a niche so no one else will have exactly what we do."

Retail expert Dick Grones, principal of Cambridge Commercial Realty, says adding local boutiques to the mix "spices it up and creates interest. This is their effort to continue to be unique. It's a great center and they manage their tenants well."

Jim McComb, a retail consultant with McComb Group Ltd., said Galleria has done well in the economic downturn because its offerings appeal to a well-heeled clientele that is not concerned about pinching pennies. "They have the kind of stores that have performed well in this market because they cater to more affluent households," he said.

Arhaus will join Gabbert's, Restoration Hardware and Crate & Barrel at the Galleria, not to mention nearby furniture outlets along France Avenue that include Macy's Furniture Gallery, West Elm and Room & Board.

McComb says it makes sense to cluster similar types of retailers. "Clustering like types of businesses makes it easier for comparison shopping," he said. "If you're interested in furniture, then you're really interested in furniture, and you probably want to see a number of different alternatives.

"Auto dealers have done that for years," he said.

Janet Moore • 612-673-7752

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