Reading accessories cataloger Levenger, which has been formulating a retail expansion plan for three years, will open its first store in September, a year earlier than planned. The Delray Beach, FL-based cataloger will open a 2,300-sq.-ft. shop within Marshall Field’s flagship department store on State Street in Chicago.
For Levenger, which will pay an undisclosed percentage of sales to the Marshall Field’s division of Minneapolis-based Target, the deal “dovetails perfectly to our plan” to begin opening self-standing or mall stores next year, says president/CEO Steve Leveen.
Levenger will offer products from all of the categories it sells in the catalog, such as small leather goods, briefcases, and mobile furniture. Leveen doesn’t yet know how many SKUs the company will offer in its first-floor Marshall Field’s shop, which will be staffed by Levenger employees, but he says that 85% of those items offered will be Levenger-branded items.
Because Levenger will have a presence in Chicago, Leveen says the company’s first self-standing (or mall-based) store will in all likelihood be elsewhere in Chicago next fall. In addition, “we’re looking at our other top mail order markets: metropolitan New York and Washington,” he says. But the Chicago store will happen first, “because we believe in the cluster theory in retailing.”