Inside Lord & Taylor: It’s not what you think
This week we made a long-overdue visit to Lord & Taylor on Rockville Pike, the sole survivor of last year’s teardown of the White Flint Mall. Half expecting a sad scene with barren shelves, peeling paint and bored salespeople, we instead found a bustling store filled with customers and fully stocked with great-looking fall merchandise. Also: zero parking hassles. Shoppers told us they still love Lord & Taylor and don’t much care about the missing mall. Which is a good thing, since there’s no telling when the rest of that property will be redeveloped. White Flint’s owners, Lerner Enterprises and the Tower Cos., are still in the process of appealing last year’s U.S. District Court verdict that they owe Lord & Taylor $31 million in damages and lost profits.
This week we say goodbye to the Thai restaurant Benjarong, which closed its doors on Halloween after two decades at Wintergreen Plaza. The restaurant’s owners, who took over several years ago, left a note on the door thanking customers for their patronage. So what will become of the Benjarong space? Stay tuned to Store Reporter; we’ll have the answer in an upcoming issue.
New boutique moves into Flora’s
Flora’s Feathered Nest didn’t stay empty for long. Sonoran Rose, a boutique offering clothing, accessories and home decor, opens next Thursday (Nov. 10th) inside the quaint little farmhouse at 12211 River Road. Owner Isabel Chiotti, a retail industry veteran, says she jumped at the chance to take over the space after Flora’s closed last summer. Her specialty: international goods with a “boho-chic” vibe. “We carry espadrilles from the south of France, gorgeous cards and writing papers from England, guest towels from South Africa, candles from northern Ireland, leather bags from Argentina,” says Chiotti, a Brazilian native who will run the boutique with her daughters. “Competition is fierce. We look for different.” The Sonoran Rose website is still a work in progress; click here for a peek at what the store will carry.
Aéropostale store may not close after all
Aéropostale fans can take heart from this week’s news that the teen retailer is doing better than expected after its recent Chapter 11 filing. About 500 of Aéropostale’s 700 stores are making money, the company says, and those will likely remain open despite the “going-out-of-business” signs plastered across their windows. That’s good news for the Aéropostale store at Westfield Montgomery Mall, which is said to be one of the solid performers.