A new investor has entered Baltimore’s real estate market, and she’s planning a Revival for one part of town.
The QG is expanding to Hunt Valley. And it’s not stopping there.
Hackerman House’s $10 million building renovation, Race Pace Bicycles in Charles Village, Wine Shop in Remington and more
One of Baltimore’s grandest residences is getting a $10 million renovation.
Freddie Gray’s saga exposed the fact that Baltimore’s aging housing stock can be a source of lead poisoning for children. Recently, the Baltimore City Health Department found that chain stores could also pose risks.
As anyone who has worked in women’s clothing will attest, retail is a tough business. To run a successful boutique for a few years is an admirable feat, but to thrive for 40 years, well, that’s nothing short of remarkable.
Tomorrow marks the fortieth anniversary of Baltimore high-end women’s clothing boutique Ruth Shaw. The store opened in 1973 by namesake Ruth Shaw, a former tennis clothing designer and renowned local fashionista before it was even a word! She sold the boutique in 2008 to her long-time manager and buyer Ray Mitchener, who has run the store with the same commitment to quality merchandise, the latest trends, top designers and more, features that have made the store a Baltimore institution.
The upscale boutique will celebrate “Forty Fabulous Years of Fashion” Saturday night with cocktails at its Cross Keys location and 100 close friends, supporters and, of course, the 85-year-old original owner Ruth Shaw.
We caught up with current owner Ray Mitchener, who has played a huge role in establishing the store’s brand while helping to run the business for the last 35 years (he was a model for Versace, Ralph Lauren and others before). He is known and respected in the fashion industry and the store’s national reputation — it has been recognized as a fashion leader by Harper’s Bazaar, Elle and Lucky — has earned Ray access to the best and hottest European and American designers, and in the store, it shows!
He gave us a few insights into the secrets of his success…
You have kept a high-end designer business alive for 40 years in Baltimore, which is not a high-end designer town. What is your secret?
I think the real reason we have enjoyed such longevity is that we constantly change and evolve with our clients, listening to their wishes and demands and nurturing our relationships with them.
I am forever seeking the “next and now” in fashion and trying to bring it to Baltimore, keeping in mind that it has to be wearable and somewhat practical. I think the keys of staying in business for over forty years is staying relevant.
It is my greatest joy to help a woman discover more about herself through clothing.
Why did you decide to buy the boutique?
I bought the store in 2008 because, working with Ruth for so many years, it was a natural succession. I love what I do. I want to continue the legacy of Ruth Shaw.
What has changed about retail since you started working in it years ago?
The changes that have made the biggest impact on the fashion industry from my perspective are the accessibility of clothing through internet shopping, the fact that designers are accessible to the masses via product lines for Target, Kohls, Uniqlo, and others. Lastly, our relaxed dress codes have changed fashion, too.
Courtesy Bmore Media – Waverly is best known as a place to buy fresh raspberries and yellow corn Saturday mornings.
But Main Street Hats Owner Clyde Davis-El reminds us that it’s also a neighborhood where customers come as far away as upstate New York and Atlanta to buy fedoras and Panamas. Davis-El is just one of the neighborhood’s business owners who are counting on leaders to revitalize the neighborhood so it is known as a place to shop and dine, and not just the 32nd St. Farmers Market.
You know there’s a dearth of shopping options when excitement surrounds the opening of a J.Crew, but excited we are! The new Harbor East chain opens today and is at the base of the Legg Mason Tower on Katyn Circle, occupying about 7,200 square feet. (We’ll take some snaps today and share them tomorrow.) Anthrolpologie opens on Friday, across the way, at the base of the Four Seasons.
Courtesy Citybizlist — 2 Days Only! … Final Day – 70% OFF EVERY SUIT! 50% … OFF Every Dress Shirt and more … JoS. A. Bank Clothiers commercials are known for their call to action.
It seems that the sense of urgency hasn’t set well with a pair of erstwhile customers.
A class action complaint has been filed against JoS. A. Bank alleging that the retailer’s merchandise is “perpetually on sale and the sale price is actually the price at which the merchandise is regularly offered.”
James Waldron and Matthew Villani, both from New Jersey, filed the complaint in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (Case 2:33-av-00001).
JoS. A. Bank Clothiers said in a regulatory filing that it intends to “defend this lawsuit vigorously.”
Citybizlist procured the court document (scroll down to view it in its entirety) and has excerpted a few blurbs of the accusation:
– “Jos. A. Bank’s misleading, inaccurate and deceptive marketing cultivates the perception that consumer (sic) are being offered a discount from the Company’s regular prices when, in fact, they are not. Plaintiffs and the Class were intended to and did rely upon Jos. A. Bank’s representations when they purchased Jos. A. Bank merchandise. Plaintiffs and the Class would not have purchased Jos. A. Bank merchandise, or would have paid significantly less for the merchandise, if Jos. A. Bank had not represented that the merchandise had a “regular price” that was well above the “sale” price. As a result, Jos. A. Bank has handsomely profited from its misrepresentations to the detriment of Plaintiffs and the Class …”
– “Jos. A. Bank uses this method of advertising knowing that consumers would rely on the misrepresentation that the Company’s merchandise is on sale, creating a false sense of urgency to purchase Jos. A. Bank’s merchandise. Accordingly, Jos. A. Bank’s advertisements and promotions to sell its merchandise are perpetually false and misleading.”
– “Each advertised sale is described as being of a limited duration, thus creating the false impression that the price of the merchandise will increase back to the ‘regular price’ if a consumer does not make a purchase by the end of the sale. To increase a consumer’s sense of urgency about the expiration of the sale, Jos. A. Bank’s advertisements use expressions such as ‘Final Day!’, ‘2 Days Only!’, ‘Monday & Tuesday Only!’, ‘Today Only!’, ‘1-Day Only!’, ‘Final Hours!’, etc. As a result, consumers are misled into believing that the ‘sale’ is a limited time event. However, there are no ‘final days’ to sales offered by Jos. A. Bank, as the Company places merchandise back “on sale” immediately after a given sale ends.”
Waldron asserts that he would not have:
– “purchased Jos. A. Bank merchandise during the Class Period. At the time of his purchase, Jos. A. Bank marketed, advertised and promoted its merchandise as being ‘on sale.’ However, in contrast to the manner in which Jos. A. Bank merchandise was marketed, advertised and promoted, the merchandise purchased by Mr. Waldron was not ‘on sale,’ and the regular price was not the actual price of the merchandise, as represented. As a result of Jos. A. Bank’s misleading, and/or inaccurate, and/or deceptive marketing, advertising and promotion of its merchandise, Mr. Waldron suffered an ascertainable loss. Had Jos. A. Bank informed Mr. Waldron at the time of his purchase that the merchandise he purchased was not ‘on sale,’ and that the merchandise did not have a ‘regular price’ that was well above the ‘sale’ price. He would not have purchased the merchandise or would have paid substantially less for the merchandise that he purchased.”
Courtesy of Bmore Media – Sure, there’s usually a Target nearby and plenty of parking.
But that doesn’t mean suburbanites aren’t lacking in some retail offerings.
Many county residents were just as vocal as their counterparts in the city in expressing what they want in their neighborhoods. An independent coffee shop, IKEA, an ice cream parlor and a healthful café are on their wish list.
“We have a Starbucks in the Woodholme Shopping Center, but that’s pretty much it,” says Pikesville resident Daniel Waldman. Pikesville, a Northwest suburb in Baltimore County, is anchored by Reisterstown Road.
Courtesy Bmore Media – Fells Point residents want to let their dogs off the leash. Locust Point lacks a full-service bakery. Bolton Hill residents hope to one day walk to a grocer.
Baltimore City’s neighborhoods are continually evolving, and, after years of recession, development is picking up speed. New restaurants line downtown’s Pratt Street and South Baltimore is now home to upscale grocer Harris Teeter.
But there are still businesses and services lacking—and residents who long for them.
Some requests are far-reaching, while others are in the works. Whether it’s a large retailer or a neighborhood mom-and-pop shop, Baltimore City residents agree on one necessary factor—convenience.
Where’s the bakery?
“I miss Simon’s,” laments Locust Point resident, Kaitlin McCormick, referring to the “hole-in-the-wall” Cockeysville bakery that she frequented while living in Baltimore County. “On a Sunday morning, I want a warm cinnamon bun or and apple Danish or maybe even a raspberry kuchen. The grocery store just doesn’t cut it.”
The now-shuttered Caroline’s Cupcakery and Harvest Table seem like possible bakery locales. An Under Armour representative says that it has not been determined how Harvest Table’s space will be used as the organization expands.
Last month we saw some job growth, on the order of 115,000 new jobs nationwide. Now we know some of those new jobs must be in Baltimore. The Bureau of Labor Statistics let us know where they are.
Temporary help services showed some of the largest growth last month, which is good. When I was looking for work a couple years ago, I called up one local temp agency and before I could explain my skills I was told there were “no jobs.”
Employment opportunities are also showing up in retail. Rite Aid is even going to hold a career fair tomorrow to look for store managers and shift supervisors. If you have an affinity for building materials and garden supplies, you may be in luck; places like Home Depot and Lowe’s Home Improvement have been among the retail stores taking on the most new hires.
Health care employment also picked up, but mostly outside of hospitals. The website for Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, for example, lists 69 openings.
And if these three areas aren’t your thing… I don’t know, keep playing Mega Millions or something.