New Cub Foods Opens in Oakdale Today

Cub Foods opens their relocated store at Bergen Plaza in Oakdale today.   This corporate store is over 70,000 sf, and showcases upgraded perishables along with full service deli, meat and seafood departments.  New offerings added to this store include bulk honey and olive oil bars.  It was also just announced that the Big Thrill Factory is going to go in to the former Cub Foods location.  Big Thrill currently has a successful store at Hwys. 101 and 7 in Minnetonka that opened 3 years ago. 

Cub has been aggressive with their new store growth, with a corporate store opening in White Bear Lake last December and a new location now under construction in Blaine west.

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Now Open: NTY Clothing Exchange

Allison Kaplan of Mpls + St. Paul Magazine reports that the founder of Clothes Mentor has opened a new resale store aimed at teens. NTY Clothing Exchange in Minnetonka focuses on trendy apparel for girls and guys from popular brands including American Eagle, Juicy Couture, Steve Madden, Lucky Brand, and True Religion.

The store at Ridge Square, across the street from Ridgedale Center, is well organized and the assortment is deep, including shoes, jewelry, and bags. Kaplan writes that “it feels a lot like that other teen resale retailer, Plato’s Closet, which is not a surprise, considering NTY founders Ron Olson and his son Chad Olson used to work for the company that built Plato’s Closet, along with resale brands Play It Again Sports and Once Upon a Child.”

The Olsons are treating the Minnetonka store as a pilot as they prepare to open NTY stores around the country.

Clothes Mentor owners launch new resale concept in Minnetonka

MSPBJ reports that the owners of Clothes Mentor are testing a new concept near Ridgedale Center that still be a resale model, but target a younger demographic that includes men.

Ron and Chad Olson are hoping that their new store, NTY Clothing Exchange, will have the same success as Clothes Mentor. The father-son duo acquired the Clothes Mentor brand in 2006 and built it into the 104-store franchise it is today.

The Minnetonka store, which is now open at 12989 Ridgedale Drive, carries gently used clothes from Aeropostale, Charlotte Russe, Forever 21, H&M, Lucky Brand, Roxy, Silver, Steve Madden, Abercrombie, American Eagle, Juicy Couture and True Religion.

Two Fresh Seasons grocery stores closing

MSPBJ reports that Fresh Seasons Market will close its upscale grocery stores in Victoria and Minnetonka.

Employees were notified Monday, said Noah Atlas, operations manager at the store in Minnetonka’s Glen Lake neighborhood, which opened in 2007. A sign will be posted at the store by Wednesday. The closing date is May 5; a store-closing sale begins Wednesday, according to a notice on the grocer’s website. A store in Victoria will also close that day. Combined, the stores have about 120 employees. The Glen Lake store is about 25,000 square feet and the Victoria store is 29,000 square feet.

Coldwater Creek closing 11 Minnesota stores

MSPBJ reports that Women’s clothing retailer Coldwater Creek is closing all of its stores as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

The Sandpoint, Idaho-based company, a competitor of Plymouth-based Christopher & Banks, has 11 stores in Minnesota,  according to its website:

  • Albertville, Albertville Premium Outlets
  • Bloomington, Mall of America
  • Duluth, Miller Hill Mall
  • Eden Prairie, Eden Prairie Center
  • Mankato, River Hills Mall
  • Maple Grove, The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes
  • Minnetonka, Ridgedale Center
  • Rochester, Apache Mall
  • Roseville, Rosedale Center
  • St. Cloud, Crossroads Center
  • Woodbury, Woodbury Lakes

Coldwater Creek filed for Chapter 11 protection Friday “to facilitate an orderly wind-down of its operations,” the company said.

While the company’s origins are in catalog sales, Coldwater Creek had grown to more than 400 stores in 47 states. The company has yet to indicate when the stores will close.

Toppers is adding at least seven Minnesota pizzerias

MSPBJ reports that Toppers Pizza is rapidly adding stores in Minnesota, with four opening in the next two months plus another three opening this spring.

The seven new pizzerias will double the Whitewater, Wis.-based chain’s presence in Minnesota. The new stores are part of a predicted national growth from 50 to 75 locations in 2014.

Here’s a rundown of the new Minnesota Toppers:

  • A Winona location, at 129 E. Third St., will open in the next few days.
  • Franchisees Brad Vinton and Dan Ogiba will open a Falcon Heights pizzeria in January at the intersection of Snelling Avenue and Larpenteur Avenue.
  • Derek Henze will open a St. Louis Park Toppers in February at 5618 36th St.
  • A Rochester location (the city’s second) will open in February.
  • A Stadium Village Toppers will open this summer near the University of Minnesota’s Minneapolis campus. Redevelopment closed a previous Stadium Village location.
  • Barry and Jennifer Friends have signed leases to open two locations this spring. One is in Minnetonka near the Highway 7/Highway 101 intersection. The second is in Plymouth, near the Rockford Road exit of 494.

Toppers also has contracts for a St. Paul location and a St. Cloud location, but no sites have been chosen yet.

Beer-gear retailer opens second store

Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal reports that St. Croix Promotions & Retail Inc. has expanded its Minnesota Local Brew retail concept five months after opening the first location at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Minnesota Local Brew will hosted its grand opening at Ridgedale Center in Minnetonka in late November. The store sells a wide variety of beer gear, including logo apparel for local brewers Summit Brewing Co., Finnegans, Fitger’s Brewhouse and Third Street Brewhouse.

“We got such great response on Local Brew [at the airport] that we’re now bringing it out to the greater community as well,” St. Croix CEO Pady Regnier said.

Bloomington-based St. Croix operates a variety of gift shops at the airport, the Mall of America and the Minnesota Children’s Museum. It also makes customized promotional apparel and merchandise for company stores, trade-show giveaways, employee-incentive programs and the like.

Banfield Pet Hospital Headed to Westwind Plaza

MinnetonkaPatch reports that the Minnetonka City Council signed off on a conditional use permit necessary for Banfield Pet Hospital to move into the Westwind Plaza shopping center  at 4777 County Road 101. The hospital will occupy nearly 3,000 square feet of space between Beijing Restaurant and Bruegger’s Bagels.

The hospital will “include full service veterinary care, including full diagnostic capabilities, a surgery suite, pharmacy and retail pet supply sales,” according to the request from the architect.

The business will not provide dog runs, long-term kenneling or overnight facilities.

H&M opens at Ridgedale Thursday

CityPages reports that apparel retailer H&M will open its sixth metro-area store this Thursday at the rapidly evolving Ridgedale Center.

The low-priced Swedish retailer is opening a 20,000-square-foot store on the upper level of the mall. Ridgedale also is getting a new Nordstrom store as part of the redevelopment of space formerly used by Macy’s, which has reduced the space it’s using at the Minnetonka mall.

H&M’s 20,000-square-foot space will carry just about everything the chain offers, such as fashion for women and men, young adults, children, babies, and plus-size individuals, with special departments for lingerie, accessories, sports items, and maternity wear.

Popularity of city-run fitness centers skyrockets around Twin Cities

According to the StarTribune, thanks to changing demographics, city-run fitness centers are drawing more people. Some even rival private gyms.

Minnetonka residents are taking their workouts to one central place: the city’s fitness center. Attendance at the city-owned Williston Fitness Center has skyrocketed since it underwent a $4.5 million renovation in 2010. This year, membership is expected to peak at 8,400; users will top 300,000. For the first time, the city has closed nonresident memberships.

More metro suburbs are getting into the fitness fad, rivaling private health clubs in amenities with everything from rock climbing to water parks. Eden Prairie and Shoreview are both considering multimillion-dollar additions to their heavily used centers. And St. Louis Park is weighing building a new community center.

However, not all cities can afford such high-end facilities or get taxpayers to foot the bill. And most cities that do so barely break even, because they charge lower fees than many private health clubs and still have free public areas.

But Bill Beckner, a senior researcher with the National Recreation and Park Association, said, increased fitness offerings are something residents expect from cities, and they can help make a city more attractive.  Read more >>