Ici Fashions Set to Expand To Third Store in Princeton
While expectant mothers will no longer be able to shop at Palmer Square's Mother and Baby & Co., which is set to close this week, a new store will go in its place that will cater to mothers who have recently given birth.
Ici Bébé, which will sell clothing for infants through 24 months, will be moving into the retail space by the second week of July, said Ici owner Lisa Mazzone. The store is the owner's third children's clothing store to open in Palmer Square in the last three years.
"We have a lot of people coming in all the time asking if we sell baby clothes," said Ms. Mazzone. "When we found out Mother and Baby & Co. was leaving, it just made sense to expand [to that location]."
Ms. Mazzone opened her first Ici store, which sells children's clothing, in August 2002. The following year, she opened Ici Couture next door, which sells clothing lines for tweens. Now, with a third store to cover the last age range of children, Ms. Mazzone said her clothing line will be complete.
"We've opened one every summer, but this is it," she said.
The new Ici store will sell both old and new clothing lines, said Ms. Mazzone: "A lot of the clothing we sell can be taken down to baby sizes."
Familiar lines will include Petite Bateau, Baby Lulu, and Barefoot Dreams. Some new labels at the baby store will include Absorba, Kissy Kissy, Zutano, and Biscotti, Inc.
The new store will have the same look and feel as the other two Ici stores, said Ms. Mazzone. Chandeliers, copper top counters, and oriental rugs will all be found in the new location.
"It's really going to look very elegant ... I can't wait," said Ms. Mazzone.
In addition, the owner intends to renovate Ici Couture this summer to give it a more modern look, however the store will remain open during that time, she said.
Something new that shoppers can look forward to at Ici Bébé is a baby registry for baby showers. A mahogany table and comfortable chairs will be set up to plan a registry, where the owner and her staff will assist customers with planning the registry over a cup of tea.
"I'm really excited about that because it could be a lot of fun," said Ms. Mazzone.
The store will also sell gift baskets for babies, which will include items such as baby blankets, bibs, toys, and monogrammed items.
Mother and Baby & Co. owner Vickie Winberg said she decided to not renew her lease because she is concentrating on expanding her Westfield store location, a 12,000 square foot retail space.
Once Mother and Baby & Co. closes, renovations will begin on Ici Bébé. Ici will begin selling baby items in its other stores on July 1.
Business is Buzzing
When Ms. Mazzone moved into her first store location in Princeton, the public library was moving to its temporary Township location. Now that the library has returned to town, she is feeling the affects of having a widely-used facility close to her business.
"With the library back in town, there's just such a vibrance," she said, adding that customers no longer complain about a lack of parking now that the Spring Street garage is up and running.
Ms. Mazzone said that she had an abundance of business last Saturday, causing her to close at 9 p.m., rather than the usual 8:30 p.m. This was partly due to the new ice cream store that has opened next door, The Bent Spoon.
"They had lines out the door Saturday night," she said.
Overall, Ms. Mazzone said she feels a new surge of business has returned to Princeton now that the library and garage are close by.
"It's really made a difference in business," she said.