Major chains change hands
The retail world has been especially turbulent these past few weeks as once-dominant clothing chains sort out their futures at malls across the country. Forever 21, which filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy last September, just changed hands and now appears poised for a comeback. Victoria’s Secret and Pink also have been sold, leaving parent company L Brands — once the owner of The Limited, Express and a bunch of other clothing chains — with only Bath & Body Works in its portfolio. What does all this mean for Westfield Montgomery mall? Time will tell, but it’s likely that all of these stores will be sticking around.
New home for Patrizia Luca
Patrizia Luca is on the move again at Westfield Montgomery mall, clearing out of its most recent space to make room for the upcoming Lego store. The five-year-old boutique has relocated several times, but it’s now returning to the spot where it first debuted — right next to Apple. Which begs the question: In today’s challenging retail environment, how has this local shop managed to thrive where so many others have failed? For one thing, owner Mahmoud Nassaj is a bit of a workaholic. He’s at the store pretty much around the clock, making sure that every customer gets the royal treatment. In addition, Patrizia Luca manufactures most of its own merchandise. “Unlike a lot of places around here, my store never looks boring,” Nassaj says. “When a woman goes to a wedding, she wants to look different — so I only get a few pieces of the same item. And I carry a lot in sizes 8/10 to 16. Not everyone is a size extra-small double zero.” (Want to know more about the Lego store? Check out our Feb. 6th edition.)
Decor galore at A.C. Moore
A.C. Moore is fast-forwarding through the seasons this month as the retailer clears out everything in its warehouse, from Easter baskets and summer flowers to Halloween and holiday decor. The Rockville store will be one of the last to close — probably next month — and new merchandise will be arriving until the very end. If you don’t mind a little seasonal cognitive dissonance, this is a great time to pick up some bargains.