The Triangle will soon be home to three Apricot Lane fashion boutiques.
The stores sell “celebrity inspired” fashions with such brands as 7 For All Mankind, Lucky Brand Jeans, Steve Madden Shoes, Humanity and Vintage Havana.
The Triangle stores, which are owned by husband and wife George and Carol Toulas, are franchised from California-based Country Visions. There are about 90 Apricot Lane stores across the country. The Toulas expect to add to that number.
George Toulas said the couple plans to open 30 over the next five years.
The first opens Friday, Nov. 9, at North Hills in Raleigh. A second store will open at Cary Towne Center in early December – before the holiday shopping season is too far gone – and a third is planned for Durham in early 2013.
The couple divide time between the Triangle and Florida, where they have a home. George Toulas said they plan to buy a home in the Cary area.
Toulas, a retired executive with Clear Channel Communications, said when they started doing diligence on the market where they wanted to launch their new retail careers, Raleigh was the obvious choice.
“Women there are very fashion forward. ... And Raleigh has a great history of having some outstanding boutiques,” he said.
Carol Toulas said the stores’ fashions were aimed at women 18 to 45 but that “women who are young at heart can wear our fashions.”
As for opening three retail stores in the current economy, the couple has no worries.
“We’re confident,” George Toulas said. “We know we have a good product. ... We’re not building in 2012 based on what’s happening today but on the basis of what will happen two to five years from now.”
They are banking on the store’s name recognition among women who have moved here from other markets that had Apricot Lane stores and an aggressive marketing campaign that includes using Brooke “Peanut Butter” Hoover from G105’s Bob and the Showgram as a spokeswoman/model about town, and a bracelet giveaway on opening weekend for those who go to its Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/ApricotLaneTriangleNC.
Broad River Furniture, a Charlotte-based furniture store, will open its first Triangle store in late December. The company, which operates 13 Ashley Furniture HomeStores and an Ashley Furniture HomeStore outlet, has leased the former RoomStore location at 8331 Glenwood Ave. in Raleigh. The new store will employ up to 20 people in sales and management. A portion of the store’s mattress sales will be donated to A Hope to Dream, an Ashley Furniture HomeStores program that provides new mattress sets to local children without beds. Beds will be awarded quarterly, beginning in April.
See’s Candies will open a store at Crabtree Valley Mall for the holiday season. The California-based company sells chocolates, nuts, gourmet lollypops, and other stocking stuffers. It will be open Nov. 8-Dec. 26. ... Raleigh mother Catherine Roberts has opened The Enchanted Fairy, a new children’s “dress up” boutique at 225 Bickett Blvd. in Raleigh’s Five Points area. The store sells designer children’s dress-up clothes and accessories along with formal attire for weddings, parties and other affairs. ... Specialty Pharmacy of Cary has opened at 3750 N.W. Cary Parkway, Suite 112, in the Preston Medical Group Office Park.
Staff writers Amy Rue and Mary Cornatzer
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