Roxy Freese announced late last year that she was retiring and closing her four Bibelot retail shops in St. Anthony Park, St. Paul on Grand Avenue, and Minneapolis in Linden Hills and the Northeast neighborhood. It represented the end of an era for the 86 year old who opened her first store more than half a century ago.
The sad news was tempered in January when Tyler Conrad, owner of GoodThings gift shops in White Bear Lake and Maple Grove, announced he was buying the Linden Hills and Grand Avenue stores and renaming them Bibelot-GoodThings. Freese said at the time that another potential buyer was looking at the St. Anthony Park location.
Where do things stand now?
The Northeast store closed Feb. 3, and St. Anthony Park store closed Feb. 15. In an email, Freese said, "While Bibelot’s doors on Como in Saint Anthony Park have now closed, there are positive signs that a similar shop will open in that space sometime this year."
A new retailer hasn't come forward yet. Although it may a gift shop, but it will not bear the Bibelot name.
The Grand Avenue and Linden Hills stores that Conrad purchased will be re-named Bibelot-GoodThings when the official takeover begins March 1. (All Bibelot gift cards must be redeemed by Feb. 28.)
The Grand Avenue Bibelot is now split with half of the merchandise being with new GoodThings items at regular price and the other half being liquidated merchandise at 50-70 percent off. Much of the liquidated merchandise was brought in just for the retirement sale.
Asked why retailers bring in new merchandise during a closing sale, Conrad said, "When a store is going out of business, they're losing money on the things they're selling from their regular stock, so they offset it with more profitable consignment goods and off-price dealer incentive merchandise." It's a "mark it up to mark it down" strategy.
All of the unsold merchandise from the four Bibelot stores has now been sent to the Grand Avenue store, Gifts are 50-60 percent off, jewelry 60 percent off, and clothing 70 percent off. Everything gets an additional 20 percent off at the register. The liquidation is expected to end by Feb. 28, with ongoing fill-ins of new GoodThings items.
On April 13 the new look of the stores will be unveiled for an event called the Good Brunch. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. the stores will feature samples and demonstration ideas for Easter, brunch and spring. Formal grand re-openings for the two stores will be held in September after a refresh of the St. Paul store and an expansion of the Minneapolis location.