Loft to open this fall at Bradley Fair

WICHITA — Finally, Bradley Fair can reveal the reason behind its game of musical chairs, business style.

Loft is coming to the center at 21st and Rock Road this fall.

“We have been working with them for quite some time,” says Cathy Erickson, vice president at Laham Development.

“It’s been one of our most-requested stores,” she says. “We do listen, and we do appreciate when our customers give us their … input on what stores and restaurants they would like for us to have at Bradley Fair.”

Formerly known as Ann Taylor Loft, the women’s clothing store is something of a hipper younger sister to Ann Taylor. There are 500 of the stores nationwide.

The store will locate between Talbots and Bella Luna Cafe where Randy Cooper’s Fine Jewelry and College Hill Cleaners are vacating.

Randy Cooper’s is moving to where Howard’s Optique used to be. Howard’s moved from its freestanding space to new space between Sephora and Jason’s Deli in the first round of moves to prepare for Loft.

College Hill Cleaners is moving to where Origins used to be.

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Randy Cooper’s Fine Jewelry and College Hill Cleaners to move within Bradley Fair; new national retailer coming soon

WICHITA — The latest round of musical chairs — business style — is almost over at Bradley Fair.

“The first piece of the puzzle was moving Howard’s Optique, which we did at the end of last year,” says Cathy Erickson, vice president at Laham Development.

Howard’s moved from its freestanding space to new space between Sephora and Jason’s Deli.

Now, Randy Cooper’s Fine Jewelry is moving into the freestanding building that Howard’s left. Amy’s Hallmark shop already is there.

Cooper’s impending move has been one of the worst-kept recent retail secrets, but now that it’s happening, she’s eager to talk.

“I am so thankful that George Laham has given me this opportunity,” she says of the center’s developer.

“I probably wouldn’t have stepped out on my own and done it,” Cooper says. “It just makes it so much more convenient for our customers to visit.”

Her new space will be 4,000 square feet, which is about 20 percent more than what she has now.

“So we can grow and be a better store and offer new lines and offer more of some lines that we have,” Cooper says.

College Hill Cleaners also is moving. It’s taking 1,300 square feet where Origins used to be and will have a new after-hours box for customers to drop off items needing cleaning.

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Bradley Fair and Fresh Market confirm the grocery store is coming in 2012

UPDATED — Bradley Fair developer George Laham now confirms what Have You Heard? reported last month:

The Fresh Market grocery chain is coming to the former Ultimate Electronics space in 2012.

“The shopping center is just a perfect fit for our concept,” says Drewry Sackett, Fresh Market’s manager of public relations and community relations.

Laham, president of Laham Development, began looking for a specialty grocery store to bring to Wichita even before Ultimate Electronics closed.

In recent years, Wichitans have been hoping for a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.

“After looking at the Fresh Market, this was the clear choice,” Laham says.

“The only reason they’re not saying, ‘We want Fresh Market,’ is because they don’t know it,” says Cathy Erickson, vice president at Laham Development.

The Greensboro, N.C.-based chain has about 110 stores either open or opening soon, and this one will be the farthest west.

Sackett calls Wichita “a really solid Midwestern market that supports our growth into that region of the country.”

The chain is heavily concentrated in the southeast, which Laham says is why most Wichitans aren’t familiar with it.

Laham says as he began looking for a specialty grocery store, he looked throughout the industry before choosing Fresh Market.

“They are clearly a market leader,” he says.

Sackett says, “Our stores are a little bit different, certainly, than a traditional grocery store.”

She says the store is a warmer, more intimate atmosphere with classical music playing, freshly brewed coffee awaiting customers and floral arrangements greeting them at the door.

“You can see across the entire store, and that really sort of lends to that feeling of a more intimate setting,” Sackett says.

“It’s very much a European market,” Laham says. “It’s like being in Italy at an open-air market.”

The 22,000-square-foot space will be fairly compact to navigate.

“That’s kind of the beauty of it,” Erickson says.

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Spray sunless tanning to open at the Shops at Tallgrass

WICHITA — The closing of one business is leading to the opening of another.

“I’ve off and on thought about having my own business and own salon,” says Meghan Polk, who worked for Origins at Bradley Fair for 10 years.

That store recently closed, so Polk has decided to open Spray, a sunless tanning salon that will be in the Shops at Tallgrass at 21st and Rock Road.

“When they closed our store, I thought I’ve always wanted to do it, and now is a great time with people getting away from tanning beds,” Polk says.

Polk says Spray will be different from most salons where “sunless tanning is like the afterthought.”

She says other places have room after room for traditional tanning beds and maybe one converted room for sunless tanning.

Polk will have five rooms and four technicians who operate airbrush machines. Spray also will have a variety of sunless tanner brands from which customers can choose along with retail products for home use.

The shop will be in 1,300 square feet where Uptown Paws used to be.

April Reed with Slawson Cos. handled the deal.

Polk says there will be a lounge area where groups, such as wedding parties, can come for tanning appointments.

She isn’t going to rent the space for parties, but Polk says customers could bring food and drinks.

Polk plans to open late next week and have a grand opening Dec. 2.

“If it really takes off, we’ll probably expand in the Wichita area.”

Origins at Bradley Fair closes; deal for a new tenant is close

WICHITA — The Origins store at Bradley Fair has closed.

No one with the chain’s corporate office returned calls for comment, but an employee at the Origins counter at Towne East Square says the company may have new guidelines for keeping freestanding Origins stores open.

As Sephora and other makeup and skin care chains gravitate to locations outside of department stores, it appears Origins may be going the other way.

A representative with Laham Development, the developer of Bradley Fair, says a new deal is close for the 1,400 square feet that Origins left this week.