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Business is booming at Troy's Somerset Collection

In the Oakland Press 9/21/2010

Published: Tuesday, September 21, 2010

By JOSEPH SZCZESNY
Of The Oakland Press

The Somerset Collection is filling up as new stores open in the last few spaces available.

Linda McIntosh, Somerset's marketing director, said the mall will be 100 percent leased by the time The Detroit Shoppe opens in early November.

McIntosh noted the uptick at Somerset is a sign the local economy is coming back to life.

Three new major tenants have opened stores in Somerset North recently, including the Lego store and Sur La Table, both of which officially opened over the weekend, McIntosh said.

The Lego store is the first in Michigan and one of about two dozen the Danish building blocks maker has or will open in the United States, she said.

Sur La Table also has a store in the Partridge Creek Mall in Macomb County. However, the 6,000-square-foot kitchenware store in Somerset, which was packed on opening day, has room for cooking classes. "It's only one of handful of their stores that has a cooking school," McIntosh said.

Tapper's Diamonds Fine Jewelry of West Bloomfield Township also opened a store in Somerset recently, she said.

"They're calling it their eastern store because they already have stores in West Bloomfield and Novi," McIntosh said. The Tapper's store was a great addition to the mall because the company is community oriented, she said

"It's wonderful to have a family-owned store in the mall," McIntosh added, noting that most stores in retail centers such as Somerset are owned by chains or large companies with a several different retail lines.

McIntosh also said Bare Escentuals cosmetic store opened last month, Pandora jewelry is set to open in October and Intimacy, specialists in bra fitting, will be open by early November.

A number of other tenants, including Kate Spade, Fossil and Restoration Hardware, have remodeled, while Saks in Somerset South has made room for the collections of 14 new designers.

"We're very pleased that our stores are working very hard," McIntosh said. "The store managers here have gone out their way to work together."

McIntosh said one of the keys to Somerset Collection's success has been its emphasis on service. "Service is key. People are being very careful when they shop," McIntosh said. "We're finding they are shopping here rather than going to Chicago or New York. Why not? It's all here, why leave the D?"

The Somerset Collection’s reputation for luxury and high fashion also continues to attract shoppers from Ohio, Indiana and even Illinois and Canada, McIntosh said.

Detroit venture, The Detroit Shoppe, which is scheduled to open at the end of October, is a unique venture between Somerset Foundation and local organizations, including the Southeastern Michigan Lincoln Dealers, Berline Advertising of Bloomfield Hills and The Forbes Co., McIntosh said. The venture creates a one-of-a kind retail environment to raise funds for and to boost awareness of Detroit's cultural gems and instill a sense of pride in the residents of greater Detroit about the region's dynamic past.

Scheduled to operate from early November through the end of December in a 4,800-square-foot space on the second floor of Somerset North, The Detroit Shoppe is to be operated by the nonprofit Somerset Foundation and include museum-like exhibits highlighting Detroit in the 20th century, architectural icons and landmarks, automobile displays and a Motown Records-inspired recording studio.

Among the items for sale will be Faygo and Vernors sodas, Better Made snacks, Sanders hot fudge and candies, Motown memorabilia, Pewabic Pottery, Eastern Market-logo merchandise, Detroit-themed apparel, books about Detroit and music compilations from Detroit-born artists. Net proceeds from the sale of all merchandise, and the full purchase price of "Detroit Moves Me" T-shirts, will be donated to yet-to-be-named charities and nonprofits, McIntosh said.

Guests also will also be able to purchase memberships to area cultural institutions; for each membership sold guests will receive a $25 "I Decide" Somerset Collection Gift Card.

Contact staff writer Joseph Szczesny at 248-745-4650 or joe.szczesny@oakpress.com.

 

Posted on 9/21/2010

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