As reported in today's Bee, the Westfield Galleria in Roseville is operating on optimism that someday, somehow this slumping economy will turn itself around and clothing, jewelry and even a bar of soap will be hot commodities.
The massive expansion includes 48 stores opening this week; 52 in the coming months.
Even though I'm based in Sacramento, I'm particularly excited about two openings: LUSH, which sells handmade soaps and all things that smell good, and H&M, a Swedish clothing chain that has stores on practically every corner in San Francisco and finally saw the light that we could use one in this area.
If you've never been to an H&M, it's one of the best clothing stores for saving a buck and walking out with something really cute. True, it's targeted at a mostly younger fashion crowd (both men and women) but, hey, anyone can pull off a great scarf, jacket or jeans. So this is definitely a new store to check out.
LUSH will probably do very well. A hunk of soap won't break the bank and you can buy blocks of bubbly in pretty much any size. The shower gels and skin-care products are also reasonably priced.
On the high end, women do love their Louis Vuitton bags. But I'll reserve forecasting how this store will attract customers. Same thing with Tiffany and Co. Remember, in the movie "Breakfast at Tiffany's," Audrey Hepburn's ring was a fake!
Back in Sac and on a sad note, many of you probably already know that boutique owner Jessica Horton is closing her Dara Denim store in midtown.
Jessica says inventory levels are getting low, and she's set to do a big push for Thanksgiving weekend. Her closing date? Should be Dec. 7.
"The economy is a motivator.," she says. "The store is not as busy as it used to be. I can't even afford a manager!"
Another more personal factor is that Jessica's husband, Jerry Horton, is the guitarist for the well-known band Papa Roach. That means about nine to 10 months of travel a year.
"My husband travels a lot and our daughter is almost 3 years old," Jessica says. "She's saying 'I miss Daddy'." Nuff said. Take the entire family on the road!
Dara Denim opened Oct 10, 2003, and Jessica admits it's been emotional since she made her decision to close the boutique.
"It's been stressful, constantly thinking about the next big thing and the next season. My brain is tired, too," she says. "As for my customers, though, I'll miss them very much."
In addition to finding a lot of great clothing on sale during the liquidation, the next few weeks are a good opportunity to stop by and wish a great retailer - and mom - good luck. The store is at 2404 K St.