Deco Raleigh gift shop opens in downtown Raleigh

FROM STAFF REPORTSNovember 1, 2012 

Deco Raleigh has opened at the southeast corner of West Hargett and Salisbury streets in downtown Raleigh.

The store is brainchild of Pam Blondin, former director of the local affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Blondin aims to offer gifts that can’t be found anywhere else around downtown Raleigh.

Blondin says despite all the gains downtown has made in recent years, there’s still very few places to pick up a gift or a birthday card. “It just seemed that there was this piece missing from downtown,” she said.

Blondin will sell vintage postcards of downtown Raleigh, games and toys such as Peruvian hand-knit dolls, and home decor. About a quarter of the shop will be devoted to art on consignment from area artisans.

“You’re not going to see the traditional oil painting,” Blondin said.

Once Deco’s staff settles in – likely after Christmas – Blondin plans to add services. The artists’ work will be sold online, and a “concierge service” will let customers pick out items and have them delivered to downtown offices or picked up at the curb.

“Do I think I’m going to make money in this? No,” she said. “My mission statement is more about generating community around retail.”

Store hours will be 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. with extended hours during downtown events. For instance, Deco will participate in First Friday.

Blondin said she hopes other retailers will join her in what has been a storefront dead zone between Fayetteville Street and the Warehouse District. Empire Properties carved a long-vacant restaurant into four spaces, and the other three spaces will be leased soon, Blondin said.

Sports and More, a seasonal holiday retailer, opened Thursday at Northgate mall in Durham. The store features NFL, NBA, NASCAR and college gift items including jackets, T-shirts, blankets and caps. The store is near Center Court. It will be open through Dec. 31. ... In Apex, Chic Resale Boutique has moved a block down the street to 219 N. Salem St. inside the Salem Street Promenade. The boutique, which has been open for eight years, will hold a grand opening for its new location on Thursday, Nov. 8, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Staff writers Colin Campbell and David Bracken

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