Apricot Lane Boutique, a national chain, to open at Bradley Fair this spring

WICHITA — Along with tulips and daffodils popping up this spring, Wichita will have an apricot, too.

Apricot Lane Boutique, that is.

Wichitans Kami and Mark Murphy are opening a franchise of the California-based women’s boutique at Bradley Fair in March.

“The store is a fabulous women’s fashion boutique that is very unique,” says the chain’s founder and CEO Ken Petersen.

There are 82 Apricot Lanes in 30 states, and they’re known for having limited quantities– maybe only a couple of each size — of name-brand and nonbranded apparel.

“Customers love that,” Petersen says. He says they like knowing not everyone will be wearing what they’re wearing.

“Our product mix is fast, and it’s fresh, and it’s on trend, and it’s constantly changing,” he says.

Petersen calls the store a mother-daughter boutique that appeals to both age groups.

He says he’s found it to be even more than that.

“I can’t tell you how many times we’ve seen grandma, mom and daughter in the stores,” he says.

“I didn’t want to be a juniors retailer. We didn’t want to be a Talbots-type of retailer.”

There also will be shoes, jewelry, accessories and gifts in a variety of price points.

“We’re excited to bring something that’s so hip and also something that’s a little more affordable to Bradley Fair,” Kami Murphy says.

Murphy, who once worked at Fringe Salon, and her husband, who works for Commerce Bank, recently returned to the state after a time in Arkansas for Mark Murphy’s job.

Petersen says it’s great to have the support of a large company with the presence of local owners.

“That’s the beauty of it,” he says. “They’re connected to the community.”

Petersen founded the chain in 2007.

“We grew right through the economy,” he says. “That’s a big part of why we’re strong now.”

Apricot Lane will locate between YaYa’s Eurobistro and Nouveau where Carla’s Love It used to be near the corner of 21st and North Rock Road.

Christi Royse of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal.

“We only have one remaining space,” says Cathy Erickson, vice president of Laham Development. “An announcement for it will be forthcoming … and it will be another wonderful addition for Wichita.”

Two new tenants, Fresh Market and Soma Intimates, opened at Bradley Fair this year and there was an announcement about Versona Accessories and now Apricot Lane.

“It’s been a wonderful year at Bradley Fair,” Erickson says.

She says the holidays are doing well, too. There have been more than 6,000 free carriage rides this year.

Erickson says overall it’s been one of the best years since the center opened in late 1990.

“That’s saying a lot in this day and time.”