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Sephora makeup


Sephora’s makeover is nearly complete

Sept. 1 marks the debut of the new Sephora store at Westfield Montgomery Mall — the first of three longtime tenants in the Macy’s wing that are racing to open bigger and better stores before the holidays. Teavana, which closed last spring to make room for a major expansion of the Apple Store, will return this fall in a new location just across the hall. Apple was originally expected to reopen around November, but the project started late and construction delays could make it difficult to meet that timeline. Meanwhile, Swiss coffee maker Nespresso will soon announce plans for a retail store and tasting cafe right next to Teavana. Click here for more on that in our Aug. 18 edition.



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Great Beginnings sign


Sad ending for Great Beginnings

Great Beginnings, the baby and children’s furniture chain that served Montgomery County for nearly three decades, has come to a not-so-great ending. After the original Gaithersburg location closed its doors last summer, owner Jim Streight told Store Reporter that he planned to reopen in North Bethesda. But this summer brought the abrupt closing of a second Great Beginnings store in Chantilly, which was said to have sustained damage from a burst water pipe. Customers were notified via email that the business could not “financially recover” from the incident and wouldn’t be reopening. Those with outstanding orders were advised to seek refunds from their credit card companies.



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Payless Shoe Source at Federal Plaza


Payless in, Hardwood Artisans out in Rockville

Payless Shoe Source opens a new Rockville store this Friday (Aug. 26th) at Federal Plaza on the Pike. The space became available this summer with the departure of Hardwood Artisans, which had been a fixture at that shopping center for nearly 20 years. The furniture company is shifting its attention to downtown Bethesda, where it opened a new store last winter. Click here for more in our May 26th edition.



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Trader Joe's products


New Trader Joe’s for Travilah

Stay tuned this fall for the latest on plans for a proposed Trader Joe’s store at Travilah Square Shopping Center. The grocer is hoping to open on Darnestown Road early next year, replacing a Burger King restaurant and small office building at that property. We’ll keep you posted as this proposal moves forward.



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Nike sneaker

Nike store opens, beer garden for Pike & Rose

The Nike Factory Store opened its doors last week at Pike & Rose in North Bethesda, where it’s well-positioned to pick up customers from the recently departed Sports Authority. Nike replaces the City Sports store that closed last fall when its parent company went out of business. Next up for the Pike & Rose: Owen’s Ordinary, a beer garden and restaurant from the developers of Vermilion, Iron Gate and Birch & Barley. More on that in an upcoming issue.


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Nespresso cups with foam


Hello Nespresso

This week we have good news for coffee lovers: Nespresso is about to announce plans for a cafe and retail store at Westfield Montgomery Mall. Much like the Nespresso Flagship Boutique that opened last year at Tysons Corner, the Maryland store will serve an array of specialty coffees while encouraging customers to check out its high-end machines and accessories. Nespresso will take over the prime corner spot that was vacated this week by Kay Jewelers, which has relocated next to Swarovski. This is the final piece in a long-term plan to upgrade the mall’s Macy’s wing, where Nespresso will be joining neighbors Apple, Teavana and Sephora in the race to open their new stores before the holidays.



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Macy's at Westfield Montgomery Mall


Macy’s store closings: Can it happen here?

If you saw last week’s news that Macy’s plans to close 100 of its 675 stores, you may have wondered whether there’s reason to worry about the retailer’s future at Westfield Montgomery Mall. The answer: Probably not, given this area’s demographics — but a final decision won’t be made until early 2017. “We’re going to be looking at the year-end numbers before we decide which specific ones will close,” says Macy’s spokesman Elina Kazan. Last year 36 Macy’s stores closed their doors after the holidays, including one in Hagerstown. For more on what Macy’s is doing to bring back lapsed customers, click here for our July 28th report.



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R. Riveter storefront at Westfield Montgomery Mall


R. Riveter marches in

R. Riveter, a patriotic purse company backed by Shark Tank‘s Mark Cuban, opened its first D.C.-area store this month at Westfield Montgomery Mall. The North Carolina-based retailer offers high-end handbags made from canvas, leather and recycled military materials — all hand-sewn by military spouses who work remotely wherever their families are stationed. The store also carries other military-related products that have been featured on Shark Tank, including bottle openers made from hollow bullets. You can find R. Riveter in the mall’s Nordstrom wing, in the former Eileen Fisher space across from Coach.



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Michael Kors brown bag


Bye bye bargains on Coach and Michael Kors

Speaking of luxury handbags: If you enjoy trolling the mall for discounts on your favorite high-end brands, this may not be the best year to find them. Coach recently announced plans to reduce its presence at department stores, while Michael Kors says it will start opting out of coupon and discount offers at stores like Macy’s and Nordstrom. Both companies have complained that frequent price cuts are “confusing” for customers, who ultimately become less willing to pay full price for luxury goods. Stay tuned to see how this no-discount strategy plays out over the holidays.



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Store Reporter is in the know about the places you go. Want to get our newsletter in your email box every week? Click here. Want to advertise your business to our readers in greater Rockville, Potomac and Bethesda? Click here.

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Closed Apple Store at Westfield Montgomery Mall


Apple Store is closed for the summer

The Apple Store expansion is finally under way at Westfield Montgomery Mall — several months later than originally planned, but still in time to reopen before the holidays. The new store will be nearly twice its former size, encompassing the neighboring spaces that previously belonged to BCBG and Teavana. If you need to visit the Genius Bar between now and November, the next-closest Apple locations are in downtown Bethesda and Tysons Corner.



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Macy's Last Act department at Montgomery Mall


A Summer of changes at Macy’s

Macy’s shoppers may be noticing some changes this summer as the retailer strives to update its image. Workout wear is getting a lot more floor space as the “athleisure” clothing trend continues to drive sales. In the cosmetics department, old-fashioned glass cases are increasingly giving way to self-service kiosks à la Sephora. And clearance items from all over the store are now being shoved into one big “Last Act” section aimed at bargain hunters. “We are testing this approach to see how our customers react to it,” says Macy’s spokesman Elina Kazan. “We think it’s easier to find the discounts this way.” Also new is Macy’s On Call, a chatbot from IBM’s Watson system that can help you navigate the store or find what you’re looking for via your phone instead of a sales rep. Westfield Montgomery Mall is one of 10 locations where Macy’s On Call is being tested. To try it out for yourself, click here.



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Starbucks with flowers at Cabin John


Flowers, fun and music at Cabin John

Have you noticed the flowering plants, free yoga classes, cornhole tournaments and sidewalk concerts at Cabin John Shopping Center & Mall this summer? It’s all part of a long-term effort to “surprise people, provide some entertainment, and encourage shoppers to walk around more when they’re here,” says marketing manager Hilary Shure. “You never know what you’re going to find just around the corner.” September will bring a series of parking lot concerts from local rock and oldies bands, including Lloyd Dobbler Effect, Sandra Dean Band and the Retro-Rockets. Show dates haven’t been posted yet, but you can click here to see what’s coming up for August.



2016 Regency Estates Swim Club August Special ad



Jennifer Furniture sofa


Goodbye Jennifer Convertibles

Jennifer Convertibles and Jennifer Leather closed their doors on Rockville Pike this week as the New York-based retailers exits the D.C. area. “We still have locations in New York and New Jersey, but the ones in Maryland and Virginia just weren’t profitable,” a sales rep tells us.



Jersey Mike's Subs at Wintergreen Plaza


Hello Jersey Mike’s Subs

Jersey Mike’s Subs made its Rockville debut at Wintergreen Plaza this week, just two doors down from the new Habit Burger Grill. The two restaurants have replaced Tedd’s 355 Diner, which was torn down last fall. To check out the Jersey Mike’s menu, click here.


Store Reporter is in the know about the places you go. Want to get our newsletter in your email box every week? Click here. Want to advertise your business to our readers in greater Rockville, Potomac and Bethesda? Click here.

For a guide to previous issues, click here.


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Congressional Plaza


New look, new tenants for Congressional Plaza

Congressional Plaza on Rockville Pike is getting a summer mini-makeover. The bustling center is renovating its towers, upgrading landscaping and signage, and expanding the outdoor courtyard between Chopt and Starbucks. The extra seating will provide more space for socializing and also help to accommodate overflow from the center’s growing list of fast-casual restaurants, including the upcoming Modern Market (click here for more on that in our June 9th issue). Also heading to Congressional this fall is Saks Off Fifth, the discount branch of Saks Fifth Avenue that’s building out the former Tiara space between Performance Bike and Oxygen Salon. For more on Saks Off Fifth, click here for our Nov. 5th issue.



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Pouches from Boite at URBNmarket


This weekend: Gifts and fab finds at Park Potomac

URBNmarket, a pop-up showcase for vintage and handmade goods, returns to Park Potomac this Friday and Saturday (July 15th and 16th) for its second show of the summer. URBNmarket’s founders, Julie Greenstein and Debbie Sonnenreich, are hoping to make Park Potomac their permanent home after trying out a couple of different locations in downtown Bethesda. This weekend’s show will feature 40 D.C.-area merchants offering furniture, clothing, home accessories, jewelry and unique finds like these hand-sewn bags from Boîte. Show hours are 3:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; click here for more info.







Changes in store for As Kindred Spirits

As Kindred Spirits exited Westfield Montgomery Mall last week after less than a year in business near the Godiva store. But fans of the eclectic gift shop can take heart: Owner Wendy Rukmini Walker says she’ll return to the mall this fall with a much larger store — most likely in the Nordstrom wing, where her customers tend to congregate. “That space we had was really too small for us and was always intended to be temporary,” says Walker, who also operates a large store at Congressional Plaza and a small one at Reagan National Airport. “The new store will have more of everything,” she says. “More gifts, more clothes, more unique jewelry, more of who we are.” To see what As Kindred Spirits has to offer, click here.



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Nike sneakers


Nike Store to open next month

The Nike Store has set an August 18th opening date for its new location at Pike & Rose in North Bethesda, where it’s taking over the former City Sports store that closed last fall. That should soften the blow for Sports Authority fans who are mourning the retailer’s final days at Montrose Crossing. Also on the way to Pike & Rose is a new REI store, scheduled to open next year, which will replace the company’s current location on Rockville Pike. For more on that, click here for our Oct. 22 edition.



Target's Cat & Jack clothing line


Circo and Cherokee out, Cat & Jack in

This month Target launches a new kids’ clothing line, Cat & Jack, as it says goodbye to the Circo and Cherokee lines that have defined its children’s department for years. Those snoozy brands “hadn’t evolved much from the look of the Olsen twins on Full House,” reports, and they didn’t align with the company’s current goal of reviving the “chic” part of its cheap-chic image. The Cat & Jack brand aims for sophisticated designs, unusual color combinations, gender-neutral T-shirts and slogans that stress collaboration instead of competition. For more on how Target is targeting kids (and their parents), you can find the Bloomberg article here.


Store Reporter is in the know about the places you go. Want to get our newsletter in your email box every week? Click here. Want to advertise your business to our readers in greater Rockville, Potomac and Bethesda? Click here.

For a guide to previous issues, click here.


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Muse Paintbar


Party as you paint

Muse, an art studio/wine bar that caters to the creatively challenged, makes its Maryland debut next week at Rio Washingtonian Center. Like those paint-your-own pottery studios that were all the rage in the ’90s, Muse provides a welcoming place where even first-timers can pick up a brush and go home with a passable piece of art. A $35 class — typically booked online — gets you art supplies, an apron and a teacher providing step-by-step instructions for turning your blank canvas into a beach scene or a Van Gogh lookalike. Muse also offers food, wine and beer, with a casual atmosphere that encourages socializing and sipping while you paint. Click here for details.



Cabin John Shopping Center free yoga ad:




Pure Barre


Where to work out now

Coming this summer to Rockville Pike: Two small boutique gyms with drop-in classes and no long-term commitments. Pure Barre, which opened two years ago at King Farm, is adding a second Rockville location at the new Galvan complex on Chapman Avenue. Owner Jill DeNinno says she plans to offer cardio classes along with the standard barre format (details here). Also on the way is Lumi Fit, a new venture from a husband-and-wife team opening at the Twinbrook Metro Center near Fuddruckers. Lumi Fit offers a varied schedule ranging from Zumba and barre to yoga and weight-lifting classes (details here). For those who prefer to work out in a larger space, this fall will bring two new options: Life Time Fitness is readying its new facility in Gaithersburg, while Orangetheory Fitness is now under construction at Park Potomac. Stay tuned to Store Reporter for opening updates.



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The Story House logo


Books on wheels

Would a kids’ bookstore on wheels be a hit in Montgomery County? Rabbi Deborah Bodin Cohen, a children’s book author and Jewish educator, is hoping the answer is yes. This month Cohen launched a Kickstarter campaign for her new venture, The Story House, which she hopes to roll out to schools, book festivals, birthday parties and special events. The mobile format will keep costs down and “really allow me to cater to my target market,” says Cohen, who recently stepped down from her staff position at Congregation Har Shalom in Potomac. The Story House website is already up and running with a curated selection of titles plus novelties like “Owl Delivery” of the newest Harry Potter book, arriving at your doorstep within hours of its midnight release on July 31st. For more on The Story House, click here.



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Kelloggs NYC


Cereal anytime in NYC

If you’re traveling to New York City this summer, be sure to check out Kellogg’s NYC, the new all-day cereal restaurant that opens this weekend in Times Square. A collaboration between the cereal company and the Milk Bar bakery, Kellogg’s NYC charges $6.50 to $9.50 for a bowl of fresh local milk accompanied by some crazy mashups. The Berry Au Lait, for example, mixes Frosted Mini Wheats with fresh raspberries and ground coffee; the Life In Color combines Froot Loops, lime zest, marshmallows and passionfruit jam; and the Chai Line tops Crispix cereal with fresh peaches and chai tea powder. For more on Kellogg’s NYC, click here.


Store Reporter is in the know about the places you go. Want to get our newsletter in your email box every week? Click here. Want to advertise your business to our readers in greater Rockville, Potomac and Bethesda? Click here.

For a guide to previous issues, click here.


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