STORE SPACES

West Elm marks another first

BY By Marianne Wilson

On the heels of opening its first location in Arizona, West Elm is entering a new state.

The home furnishings retailer, a division of Williams-Sonoma, will open its first store in Maine, in the historic Old Port district of Portland. The 12,000 sq. ft. location will open its doors on Thursday, July 27.

The store will sell an assortment of local products highlighting 10 Maine-based makers and designers alongside the brand's fall assortment. Additionally, it will offer a design consultation program, called Style + Service, which offers customers design, installation and registry services.

West Elm honored the Portland peninsula's long history of being a commercial center for trade byland and sea with design elements that reference both the port and the railroad. Dozens of salvaged railroad ties arranged in a lattice-like grid cover the front of the cash wrap, paying homage to the trains that sped through Portland throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. In a nod to the area’s bustling waterfront and maritime past, a sculptural arrangement of woven rope hangs prominently behind the cash register.

“When we were considering our first store location in Maine, we were drawn to Portland’s commitment to revitalizing its historic warehouse district of Old Port,” said West Elm president Alex Bellos. “We want to help support Old Port’s local economy of small businesses, artists, galleries and shops by building community and celebrating its storied past as Portland’s commercial district.”

West Elm operates 100 retail stores in the United States, Australia, Canada and the UK.

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STORE SPACES

Online apparel brand with big following to open flagship

BY By Marianne Wilson

A clothing brand know for its "radical transparency" is putting down roots in its hometown.

Everlane will open its first permanent brick-and-mortar location, in San Francisco. The opening date hasn't been announced yet, but the company has posted a variety of available jobs, including "flagship store leader," on its website. The storefront, on Valencia Street in the city's Mission District, is already identified with the brand's "100% Human" tagline.

The flagship will not be Everlane's first foray into physical retailing. The brand previously opened a series of pop-up shops in New York City. And last year it opened a showroom inside its headquarters showcasing (and selling) existing and new products. The showroom is designed in the same minimalistic style as the clothing on display.

Everlane was founded in 2010 as a direct-to-consumer brand selling modern basics for men and women, with a promise of “radical transparency.” On its site, the retailer discloses how much it costs to make each item, breaking it down by materials, labor, duties and transport. It also reveals its markup.

Everlane is also transparent about the factories where its products are manufactured, taking a hands-on-approach to ensure each factory’s integrity. As an added assurance, it also require stringent workplace compliancy paperwork. The brand's ethical stance and affordable but stylish offerings has won it a strong following among millennials.

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Women’s fitness concept closing up shop

BY By Marianne Wilson

Dick's Sporting Goods Inc. is shutting down its women's fashion/fitness store format.

Dick's is closing its two existing Chelsea Collective stores on August 6. Dick's launched the brand in 2015, but it never expanded it in any signficiant way.

"We opened Chelsea Collective stores as a lab to more thoroughly understand the women's specialty athletic business. As the leases at both locations are expiring soon, we have concluded the very successful experiment," stated Dick's, reported Marketwatch.

A message posted on Chelsea Collective's Facebook page stated: “Chelsea Collective is closing on August 6th. Thank you for being a loyal customer! Please visit our partner, Dick’s Sporting Goods, for your fitness and fashion needs."

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