Bethesda Bagels heads to Wildwood
Big news on the bagel front: Bethesda Bagels is heading to the Wildwood shopping center, opening late this summer in the former Coco Blanca space next to CVS. This will be the fifth location for the family-owned business, which has been around since 1982. “We’ve had our eye on Wildwood for a couple of years,” says company president Danny Fleishman. “It’s extremely convenient for our customers who don’t always have time to go to downtown Bethesda, it’s very accessible to Potomac, and it will be great for all those Walter Johnson High School students who’ve been going to Starbucks for breakfast and lunch.” The new Bethesda Bagels will handle catering orders and serve an expanded delivery area, but it won’t have any space for indoor seating. Luckily, Wildwood is installing more outdoor tables and benches.
Post-holiday forecast for the mall
The month of January has been brutal for retailers these past few years, with national chains declaring bankruptcy and local businesses closing their doors in the wake of poor holiday sales. At this time last year, Westfield Montgomery mall lost Brookstone, Teavana and Guess among others. The previous January, casualties included The Limited, Peet’s Coffee, American Apparel, Freddy and Naples Ristorante. This year, though, the mall is looking pretty good as we swing into January. Aside from the long-expected exit of Sears and the departure of holiday pop-ups like the Virtual Insanity video arcade, the only other closing we’ve noted so far is the teen apparel store MVP Supreme. Meanwhile, retail analysts say the bankruptcy boom is largely behind us and online merchants will be opening more brick-and-mortar stores this year. Will that be the case at Westfield Montgomery? Stay tuned to Store Reporter for the latest.
Is this really the end for Lands' End?
As we enter the final weeks of business for the Sears store at Westfield Montgomery mall, we’ve been hearing from readers who are upset about the loss of Lands’ End. The store-within-a-store had become a go-to for winter gear and outdoor clothing, even among those who otherwise had little interest in shopping at Sears. Lands’ End, which was acquired by Sears in 2002 and spun off in 2013, is beginning to open stand-alone stores at malls where Sears no longer has a presence. The first such store in Maryland will debut next month at the Hunt Valley Towne Centre in Baltimore County. Could Montgomery County be next? It’s possible. A spokesman tells us the company will open 10 to 15 new Lands’ End stores this year; locations are still TBD.
First look at Amazon's newest store
Last week we had a chance to check out Amazon’s new 4-Star store in New York City, a model that’s likely to show up in the D.C. area before too long. The store looks a lot like Amazon Books in Bethesda and Georgetown — and it does in fact carry some bestsellers — but its primary purpose is to showcase trending and top-rated products in a variety of categories. The result is sort of a mini-mashup of Target, Staples, Bed Bath & Beyond and Barnes & Noble, with items for every room in the house. As with Amazon’s bookstores, there are also plenty of gift ideas and opportunities to test-drive Amazon devices from Alexa to Echo to Kindle. See something you like? Take it home or have it delivered. Want the lowest price? Make sure to sign up for an Amazon Prime membership. See how that works?