Fans of the 114-year-old J.W. Hulme leather goods company in St. Paul have endured a lot of change in the past few years.
But one tradition remains: the semiannual winter and summer sample sales, including one Saturday, albeit at a new location.
"We have a good amount of merchandise for the sale so customers should be really excited about the sample sale," said Alli Beauchamp, director of sales and retail operations for J.W. Hulme. "And this time they won't have to line up outside because they can wait in the Victoria Crossing center area and even grab some coffee from Bread & Chocolate."
The sale will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. In the past, people have started lining up as early as 7 a.m. and because of the small public area at the West 7th Street location, customers had to be let in by small groups to satisfy fire safety codes. The new, larger sample sale space on Grand Avenue can accommodate larger crowds.
The firm cuts prices 50% to 75% on leather bags, wallets and accessories. Items may be seconds, samples, missed monograms or stitches, slightly scarred, seasonal or discontinued, but Beauchamp said they're all of a good quality.
In November, J.W. Hulme was purchased by Eden Prairie-based iMedia Brands Inc., formerly Evine and ShopHQ. In October 2018, the company's former majority owner, Olympus Capital Investments, closed Hulme's manufacturing plant on West 7th Street in St. Paul and began global sourcing and manufacturing.
The company's leather goods are now made in Minnesota, Florida, Europe and Asia. Having a wider variety of manufacturing sources has allowed the company to offer more colorful, sophisticated, higher-end pieces in addition to its traditional lines, it says. Some pieces are now showing up on the ShopHQ channel.
The sale will be held in Victoria Crossing at 867 Grand Ave. in St. Paul in the former 10,000 Villages store adjacent to the full-price retail store in the same center. The Edina store, in the new east wing of the Galleria, is also expected to participate with a flash sale.
Beauchamp said both stores that opened last year are performing well and will remain open. The Galleria location was started as a holiday pop-up. Although the lease has been extended, it is still considered a pop-up.
"We want to continue to give the two stores the attention they need, but there may be additional stores in the future," Beauchamp said.