A first-of-a-kind Prince merch store opened quietly at the MSP Airport Monday, but fans sniffed it out.
Prince fans were lined up and so eager to get inside a new retail store at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, they persuaded the staff to open doors 45 minutes early on opening day Monday.
The store, located in the main mall area at Terminal 1 near the south checkpoint, opened quietly this week and is the first of its kind. It offers an expanded line of merchandise beyond the gift shop at Paisley Park, which had been the only brick-and-mortar site with a full offering of official Prince merchandise.
Branded simply as Prince, the store sells T-shirts, concert paraphernalia, albums, books, CDs and movies as well as keychains, magnets, stickers and other trinkets. There are Minnesota-themed items, such as a Twins baseball mug with the Prince love symbol.
The store also provides fans a way to buy tickets to Paisley Park, Prince’s private estate and production complex in Chanhassen that is now open to the public for guided tours.
“Prince's story is a uniquely Minnesota story,” said Audrey Johnson, director of business development for Airport Retail Group, which operates the store in conjunction with the Prince estate and Bravado licensing. “We want our store to reflect and tell his journey."
Eventually the store plans to stock travel accessories and other collections that Bravado is developing specifically for the airport location. A grand opening is being planned for July.
The idea had been in the works for several years. When lease ran out on a sports store in that location, Airport Retail Group jumped at the chance to create a Prince-themed store. It will occupy that space for several years.