BIZ BUZZ

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February 17, 2003 // UPDATED 4:26 pm - April 27, 2007
By: Ellen Nigon
Ellen Nigon

Two Gaviidae stores close, one moves Skyway walkers may have noticed the recent closings of Naturalizer Shoes and Lin Co. pearl-jewelry store in the Neiman Marcus wing of Gaviidae Common, 651 Nicollet Mall.

The Naturalizer closure is part of a corporate restructuring that has closed 100 Naturalizer stores nationwide. Parent company Brown Shoe Co. issued a statement that "the number of stores is being reduced from 340 to 240. This corporate restructure also includes ... a restructuring of the company's finance arrangements."

The Gaviidae Naturalizer store will not reopen. No tenants have yet signed a lease for the space.

Gaviidae retail property manager Cindy MacDonald said Lin Co. left after their lease expired. They will continue to sell pearl jewelry online at http://thelin.com.

The neighboring Candy Bouquet store will move into the Lin Co. space. No tenants are yet signed to move into the Candy Bouquet location. --Ellen Nigon

More indulging and blooming in Gaviidae The owners of the Laurel Village floral shop Indulge and Bloom have opened a second store. Located on the skyway level of Gaviidae Common's Saks Fifth Avenue wing, Indulge and Bloom replaced Van Haveren's Flowerworks, literally over a weekend.

"We took over the space on January 31st at 10:15 p.m. and were open (Monday) Feb. 3 in the morning," said Indulge and Bloom co-owner Raed Kakish.

Kakish said he and his business partner Edward Piechowski had been approached by Brookfield Properties (Gaviidae's property managers) about taking over the Van Haveren space.

Kakish had been in tentative negotiations to open a store in Block E, 600 Hennepin Ave., but ultimately wanted to be in Gaviidae, 651 Nicollet Mall.

"Ideally, the location we really wanted was in Gaviidae because of the retail aspect of it, whereas Block E is more entertainment," Kakish said. "We also wanted something in the skyway system because of our corporate clients."

Piechowski and Kakish plan to keep both of the stores open for now. Kakish said that the larger space in their Hennepin and 13th Street store is necessary for putting together the floral arrangements for their many weddings and events. But already they've seen the benefit of a skyway location.

"Let's just put it this way, the walk-in business at Gaviidae is blowing the Hennepin location out of the water in our first week of business," Kakish said. "It's even amazing to see how many of our customers work in the skyway system, who shop our Hennepin store also. It's been an interesting view." --Ellen Nigon

Ruminator Books to close in Mill District Ruminator Books has nearly finished its Downtown chapter. On March 31, Ruminator's Washington Avenue location inside the Open Book literary center will close.

"Because of the failure of the neighborhood to develop, it's not a place that has enough traffic to support a bookstore," said Ruminator owner David Unowsky. "It just didn't work for us as a retail space."

When Unowsky expanded his St. Paul store to Minneapolis three years ago, he thought the neighborhood would be more bustling with the addition of the Guthrie on the river.

"I expected the Guthrie to be a lot closer to completion than it is now," Unowsky said. "We also didn't really know how much of the traffic that comes there for events would spill over to us and how much wouldn't."

Unowsky said he has no plans to open another store beyond the Grand Avenue St. Paul Ruminator that he has owned for more than 30 years.

Said Unowksy, "I'm 61 years old, I'm probably not going to be opening many new stores."

For another six weeks, the Minneapolis Ruminator is at 1011 Washington Ave. S. --Ellen Nigon