Vineyard Vines, which has 63 stores nationwide including in Palo Alto, Calif., above, opened a new store in the Galleria in Edina Friday.
The pink whale has beached itself in Edina.
Vineyard Vines, the Connecticut-based retailer with its happy whale logo, opened Friday in the Galleria. Known to preppies and preps in training, the brand fills a desirable niche in the Galleria as it strives to attract younger shoppers.
“A lot of stores in the Galleria are very curated,” said Rachel Oelke, marketing director at the Galleria. “Vineyard Vines is for the whole family.”
Many Twin Cities shoppers may not be familiar with a brand whose closest retail store was in the Chicago area or select items at Nordstrom. That wasn’t the case with Suzette Schermer of Edina, who made several purchases at the new store Friday. “My husband has purchased stuff from the New York store and online,” she said. “He likes the comfy casual wear so I bought him some things for a trip.”
The brand should fit in well with shoppers looking for moderate price points, at least by Galleria standards. Price ranges for most women’s apparel is $29 to $298, men’s $42 to $595 and kids $26 to $165. “We look for trends and sought-after brands, not price,” Oelke said.
Described by one shopper as a buttoned-up version of Tommy Bahama, Vineyard Vines was founded by brothers Shep and Ian Murray in 1998. According to the company’s website, they ditched their soul-stealing corporate jobs in Manhattan and traded in their business suits for bathing suits. Still privately owned by the brothers, the company espouses their slogan, “Every day should feel this good.” Shoppers may notice another affirmation on the window of the Edina store, “Fall into the good life.”
The men’s department makes up half the store space, women’s about 40 percent and kids 10 percent. “It’s a nice addition to the Galleria because it needed another men’s store,” Schermer said. “Vineyard Vines is a nice alternative to J Crew.”
The former BCBG/concierge space that Vineyard Vines will take is about 4,000 square feet, typical for one of its stores. The Edina store is the retailer’s 63rd, along with 16 outlet stores and partnerships with Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom. The brand also has merchandise in the pop-up shop at the Ryder Cup in Chaska this weekend through next Sunday.
Vineyard Vines is the latest of several stores opening this summer and fall in the Galleria. Free People opened in July and Tory Burch will open early next month.
By the holidays, Barnes & Noble is expected to move to a new location in the lower level where Len Druskin, Brass Handle and California Closets used to be. After the bookstore vacates its current space, the Galleria will begin construction on eight to 10 new stores and possibly a restaurant. No new retailers have been announced but the center is in negotiations with True Food Kitchen, a West Coast-based healthy foods restaurant.
John Ewoldt • 612-673-7633