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Warm welcome back for Coldwater Creek store

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Still-loyal shoppers are cheering the return of Coldwater Creek, the women’s fashion retailer that recently reopened for business in ABQ Uptown.

“This store represents an exciting opportunity to reconnect with longtime customers and allows us to introduce others to the new Coldwater Creek,” Dave Walde, CEO of the company, said in a statement. The company closed more than 300 locations across the country after filing for bankruptcy in 2014. Coldwater Creek has since undergone new ownership and is inching its way back into the bricks-and-mortar world in selected markets where it previously did well.

The company said the new store at 2240 Q St. NE, Suite 10C, which is the former Bebe space, represents the next step in its plan to provide a seamless, technology-based shopping experience. A dedicated digital shopping area makes it easy for customers to shop Coldwater Creek’s entire assortment online as well.

This year, a new Coldwater Creek store opened in Burlington, Mass., the company’s first physical location in three years. The company also opened a new store in Oklahoma City. “The company’s retail expansion is continuing with the help of Chicago-based design firm RGLA Solutions, a leading retail design and architecture service firm known for creating compelling store environments,” according to a news release. Coldwater Creek also will open stores this year in Kansas City and Houston.

Speaking of bricks and mortar…

Have you heard about “One Albuquerque: Engage,” a monthly initiative to fill vacant buildings and promote public safety? The initiative encourages new businesses to move in while filling vacant buildings with temporary, pop-up-style attractions, and providing resources and support to local vendors using the spaces. The pop-ups will occur in Downtown on the first Friday of each month through the end of the year.

Focusing initially from First to Seventh NW on Central and Gold avenues, the city will partner with local building owners to enter into short-term leases of vacant spaces at a discount rate and fill them with a variety of arts, performance and shopping experiences provided by local artisans. The first location was at 505 Central Ave., next to Humble Coffee, and featured a “Plant-Powered” pop-up market of products that were 100 percent “vegan-suitable.”

Local vendors will be able to sign up for a pop-up business license with the city during the remaining events in November and December. The license will be free and valid for the rest of the year and will be approved through the city’s Economic Development Department. This will make it easier for small businesses to get started without waiting for the variety of approvals that a long-term business registration currently requires.

For more details, call 505-768-3305.

Towers power Walmart e-commerce

A Pickup Tower is described as a giant vending machine and is just the ticket for time-pressed Walmart shoppers. (Courtesy of Walmart)

Walmart now has four pickup towers in Albuquerque as part of its goal to provide new technologies to help customers save time.

The towers function like 16-foot-tall, high-tech vending machines and can fill a customer’s online order in seconds. To use one, shoppers simply choose from millions of items available on Walmart.com and select the “Pickup” option. When the item arrives at the store, an associate loads it into the pickup tower and customers retrieve it by scanning a bar code sent to their smartphone. Pickup towers dispense everything from beauty supplies to groceries, in less than a minute.

The four new devices are at 2701 Carlisle NE, 3500 Coors SW,10224 Coors Bypass NW and 2550 Coors NW.

Gee whiz! Beauty under one roof

The Shops at Gee Loretta! has a new tenant.

The interior of the swanky nail salon at The Shops at Gee Loretta! (Courtesy of Frenchies)

Frenchies Modern Nail Care is the latest addition to the retail center, at 10655 Montgomery NE, according to the nail franchise owner, who’s now booking appointments.

“With 30 years of engaging with our friends and neighbors at Gee Loretta!, I’m excited to bring the Frenchies experience to Albuquerque,” owner Laura Lopez said. “We now have a one-stop shop for a girls’ day out,” said Lopez, referring to the swanky new nail salon, which is also under the same roof where she operates a clothing boutique, jewelry store and shoe store.

What sets Frenchies apart? Its attention to hygiene and techniques that support healthy nail growth, said Lopez, who also owns a salsa business.

Please send me morsels of retail and restaurant news by email at ssinovic@abqjournal.com or phone at 823-3919.

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