Two Twin Cities luxury retailers are at the beginning of a new partnership.
At 22,000 square feet, Martin Patrick now occupies all of the first floor space in the Colonial Warehouse building. The latest addition, 4,000 square feet, includes more room for Marty’s barber shop, the tailor shop, and 400 square feet for a shop within a shop called the Loupe by JB Hudson.
The Loupe made a splash with customers during a grand opening Thursday night. “I love seeing something bright and sparkly in Martin Patrick,” said Carol Mack of Minneapolis as she checked out JB Hudson’s selection. “I’m usually shopping for my husband here, so it’s nice to see some things that he can buy for me or that I can choose for myself.”
Nick Pechman, president of JB Hudson, said one of the owners of Martin Patrick approached him a year ago about partnering in the expansion. “We’ll have watches and jewelry for men and women but also jewelry for women not seen anywhere else in Minnesota, including the Nicollet Mall store,” he said.
The plan is to follow in MP3’s successful path of letting people explore on their own. Signature pieces will have prices clearly marked and described in detail on placards. “You’ll see a beautiful necklace that we describe as ‘handmade in Italy by a seventh-generation company with a blue zircon gemstone for $2,900,’ ” Pechman said. “Sometimes you’ll be surprised at the price in a good way and sometimes you’ll be shocked and ask ‘Why is this $85,000?’ ”
In keeping with Martin Patrick’s strategy of bringing in high-quality brands new to the Twin Cities. JB Hudson has added several premium designers, including Amedeo and Luis Morais. Pechman said that even though the Loupe just opened, 2018 is shaping up to be JB Hudson’s best year for sales since 2014. Nicollet Mall construction wasn’t as much of a deterrent for its shoppers as for some other retailers. The jeweler added free services such as valet parking and courier delivery as an incentive and decided to make them permanent because of the positive response.
The new store, which had a soft opening last month, hasn’t yet seen as many female customers as hoped, but Pechman thinks that changed after Thursday’s bash. “One person from Martin Patrick said we were the busiest spot in the store. A lot of women were trying to get a peek,” Pechman said.
Greg Walsh, co-owner of Martin Patrick, said he brought in JB Hudson because a lot of clients have asked for better watches. “You have to be a real expert in that, and we didn’t want to take that on ourselves,” he said.
It was also a way to satisfy men who were continually asking for a gift for their wives. “We used to have to say, ‘But we’re a men’s store. Maybe a vase or picture frame?’ Now we can talk about precious stones too,” Walsh said.
Despite Walsh’s insistence that this is the last expansion, many customers are still hoping he will find additional space on the second floor of Colonial Warehouse. “We’ve looked into that. The elevator alone makes it cost prohibitive,” Walsh said.
Filigree, the vintage, modern and custom jeweler that used to have a small space in Martin Patrick, has moved into a larger space at 210 N. 2nd St. in North Loop.