Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 34
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

Prudential Fox and Roach, Realtors

Gloria Nilson GMAC Real Estate

Henderson Sotheby's International Realty

N.T. Callaway Princeton Office

Stockton Real Estate, LLC

Weichert, Realtors

Advertise in Town Topics

Iris Interiors

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Weather Forecast

Palmer Square Stores Strike a Balance During Economically Difficult Times

Ellen Gilbert

“We’re very lucky to be in Princeton,” said Palmer Square Management Vice President David S. Newton in a recent conversation about — what else? — the economy. “We don’t see the great heights, but neither do we see great depths. It’s a steady market, that doesn’t spike in either direction.”

A visit to sales associates from various Palmer Square stores during a recent summer sidewalk sale seemed to bear this out. At Stacy Gemma (“a fun trendy boutique”), Jennifer Hill and Kelly Hutchinson had moved a couple of racks of clothing back indoors when rain threatened outdoor browsing. Ms. Hill reported that things had been “slightly” off in recent months, but added that “we’ve purchased different items that will be in a lower price range to attract all buyers.”

Kate Spade’s corner location and cachet-laden pocketbooks appeared to be a big draw over the sidewalk-sale weekend. There was a constant flow of customers, and sales assistant Samanatha Paz reported things were “going great.” In general, she reported, things were “pretty much how it’s supposed to be. August is always a little bit slow.”

At Kitchen Kapers, salesperson Elva Martin observed that although the season had “started out kind of slow,” things have picked up in the last few weeks with parents of university students stopping by, and faculty returning from vacations.

At Stephen Seo, the “bespoke tailor shop,” a salesperson who asked not to be identified said that business had been “incredible” since the store opened in November. He also allowed that summer is “not as busy,” and explained the absence of racks in front of the store by saying that as a provider of custom clothing, it was hard for them to be part of a sidewalk sale.

Palmer Square Management Director of Marketing Anita Fresolone confirmed that not all stores choose to participate in these events. “It’s done on an individual basis, and varies from store to store,” she said, noting that national chains usually don’t participate. Mr. Newton pointed out the importance of considering the year as a whole; some stores, like Stephen Seo, might benefit more from Palmer Square’s “fashion week” events than a sidewalk sale. “There’s a little for everyone if you look at it over time,” he noted.

Mr. Newton is enthusiastic about Palmer Square’s newest tenant, Lululemon Athletica, which hails from Vancouver and describes itself as a maker of “technical clothing for yoga, dancing, running, and most other sweaty pursuits.” Mr. Newton described the store, which will probably open in late October, as “the hottest retailer around today. It’s a very cool company, very community oriented, and environmentally sensitive.”

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