Beau Monde Spa and Boutique to expand at Comotara Center

WICHITA — Michele Wheeler began contemplating expanding her Beau Monde Spa and Boutique at Comotara Center more than a year ago.

With the entry of six new national competitors in the market, though, she figured she better wait before she made the investment.

She’s not waiting anymore.

“I just decided that it was the right time,” Wheeler says.

She’s adding 2,000 more square feet to her almost 6,000-square-foot space at the center at 29th and Rock Road. That’s where Eccentricity was before moving to part of the former Olive Tree Bistro space.

“I knew we had a great clientele,” Wheeler says.

Still, it was daunting when a new Sephora opened at Bradley Fair and two more opened within JC Penney stores. There also are two new Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance stores, which are at NewMarket Square and Eastgate Plaza, and a Bare Escentuals at Towne East Square.

“I had to wait kind of wait and see what was going to happen,” Wheeler says. “We just had to stay true to our game and let everybody go check it out.”

She thinks Beau Monde has continued to do well in part because customers have “gotten behind that ‘shop local.’”

Also, she says, “It’s a little more personal attention when you come in here.”

In addition to the spa, Beau Monde offers makeup and skincare products.

Wheeler was prompted to finally take the extra space for a couple of reasons.

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Pier 1 Imports coming to NewMarket Square

UPDATED — Fort Worth-based Pier 1 Imports is bringing a third one of its home stores to Wichita, this time to NewMarket Square at 21st and Maize Road.

“It’s just a great location, and it certainly made a lot of sense for our business,” says Jennifer Engstrand, a Pier 1 spokeswoman.

The store will take 8,558 square feet next to where the new Kirkland’s is locating. That store and Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, the Children’s PlaceRue 21 and Christopher & Banks are opening in two buildings that form an L shape between Petco and Michaels.

The five new stores in that area will begin opening in July and continue opening throughout the summer.

The new Pier 1 will open in late summer or early fall.

Jerry Jones of Slawson Cos., which owns NewMarket Square, says Pier 1 will have a new design prototype. The fresher look with feature an updated entrance, a more open interior and new lighting and fixtures.

“We’re excited that this will be one of the first stores in the country . . . using the new design prototype,” Jones says.

With Kirkland’s and Michaels near Pier 1, he says, it will “make it a destination for people shopping for home accessories.”

There are also Pier 1 stores at Bradley Fair on the east side and at 4500 W. Kellogg.

For now, Pier 1 will have three stores in the market. Engstrand couldn’t say when the existing west-side Pier 1′s lease is up or if that store will close at that time.

She says the company will hire about 15 full and part-time employees.

Slawson’s April Reed handled the deal. Kansas City-based LaSala-Sonnenberg Commercial Realty represented Pier 1.

Slawson has one more imminent store announcement for that portion of NewMarket Square. Look for news soon.