The Galleria plays a mean game of Whac-A-Mole.
For every retailer leaving a hole in the Edina mall this year, another jumped in to fill it.
Creative Kidstuff, Z Gallerie home furnishings, Scheherazade Jewelers, Scandia Down and Oh Baby! have left plenty of holes this year, but Galleria's managers quickly leased them.
Warby Parker eyewear, the online company that started offering fashionable, complete pairs of glasses for under $100, has now supplemented its success with 110 retail stores in the U.S. and Canada. The Galleria store now open offers frames and lenses from $95 to about $500. More expensive glasses include progressive lenses with ultrahigh-index plastic for stronger prescriptions. Last month, Warby Parker came out with multiple frame sizes for its most popular frames.
The store, across from Ampersand, includes kids' frames, low-bridge fits, and on-site eye exams for $75. Its "buy a pair, give a pair" program has provided 5 million pairs of glasses to those in need in 50 countries around the world. Warby Parker also has a shop in the North Loop in Minneapolis. In the Galleria, it joins eyewear retailers Fifth Avenue Optical and InVision.
Suitsupply, recently opened in the lower level across from Barnes and Noble, appears to be going against trend. The U.S. men's suit market has fallen by 8% to $1.98 billion since 2015, while more casual wear has expanded 17% according to Euromonitor International.
But Chief Executive Fokke de Jong, who founded Suitsupply in Amsterdam in 2000, said suit sales are still growing at his company. "Men are spending more money on clothing," he said. "Whether it's our suits or our separates, people appreciate going to a store for personal advice."
Many of the suits and sport coats are made from Italian fabrics. The company still benefits from a 2011 article in the Wall Street Journal that placed its $600 suit on par with a $3,600 Armani in the quality of its construction.
The store, its first in Minnesota, includes a wide variety of sizes of suits and sport coats plus shirts, sweaters, casual pants and accessories. Suit prices range from $400 to $1,000, and sport coats start at $279. Custom options are also available.
What does de Jong recommend for Minnesota customers unfamiliar with the brand? "Our Circular flannel suits are sustainable and great for winter and our Traveller suits are wonderfully crease-resistant," he said.
Minnesota-based J.W. Hulme leather goods opened a holiday season pop-up store at the Galleria recently. It took the spot of Scheherezade in the newer east end.
The store features handbags, briefcases, wallets, travel bags as well as gifts from other Minnesota companies Faribault Woolen Mill and Excelsior Candle. The 100-plus-year-old company closed its 7th Street store and factory in St. Paul earlier this year and then opened an upscale boutique on Grand Avenue.
Other recent debuts at the Galleria include Johnny Was bohemian fashions for women; Nic+Zoe, a women's fashion brand with sophisticated yet relaxed apparel in petite, misses and plus sizes; and Legacy Toys, which replaced Creative Kidstuff.
The Galleria faces several large vacancies in 2020. Restoration Hardware moved into a 60,000-square-foot mansion on the Southdale parking lot in September, but its lease isn't up until the end of the year. The large space remains empty.
In May, Gabberts is expected to close its Galleria furniture store and move to a new location in Bloomington. Rod Johansen, CEO of HOM Furniture, which owns Gabberts, originally said that HOM may have other plans for the space but confirmed Friday that he does not plan to fill the space with another HOM concept.
In late December Lili Salon Spa will move from the center of the mall to the east end in the former Z Gallerie spot. Both Lili Salon Spa and Tonic Barber, for men, will be located next to each other in their new location in the east end, Galleria General Manager Wendy Eisenberg said.
Galleria leasing agents have wasted no time trying to fill the spaces. "We are actively negotiating leases for all the spaces you mentioned," Eisenberg said in an e-mail.
Dick Grones of Cambridge Commercial Realty in Edina said the Galleria is in discussion with a couple of prospects for the Restoration Hardware space. It's likely a tenant will take the entire space rather than having it cut into multiple stores.
The Gabberts space may be demolished and expanded to accommodate a tenant who wants 12,000 to 25,000 square feet of space. "A lot of larger tenants have been locked out of the Galleria for years because of high occupancy and smaller spaces," Grones said.
For the holidays, the mall will offer a DIY gift wrap station complete with boxes, bows and other adornments. Shoppers who show their same-day receipt from a Galleria store can get two boxes per person.