Last week came the surprise, abrupt announcement that longtime Twin Cities clothing retailer Len Druskin sold its business, shuttering all of its stores. The buyer is Marcus Lemonis, the host of CNBC reality TV show The Profit, who has rebranded LEN’s City Center store as Shop the Runway.
Shop the Runway appears to be an off-shoot of Lemonis’s high-end retail brand Runway, which sells clothing, accessories, and shoes for men and women from brands such as Alice + Olivia, Love Stitch, Equipment, Elizabeth & James, Bailey44, and premium denim from Mother, Joe’s Jeans, Hudson, and J Brand. Lemonis has a proven track record of investing in and saving struggling businesses, such as a San Francisco retailer named Blues Jean Bar, which Lemonis rebranded as Denim & Soul and brought back from the brink of bankrupcy in 2015.
In 2012, Len Druskin had as many as 10 outlets, including LD Len Druskin (women’s professional and dress apparel), LD Blues (casual clothes for women), LD Men, and LEN (lower-priced, trendy merchandise for men and women), but significantly scaled back operations since. A second store in City Center closed in 2013, and in 2014, the Len Druskin company closed three stores in Gaviidae Common. Last year, it moved its flagship store from Galleria to Southdale Center after 24 years, only to close the location months afterward.
While Shop the Runway awaits spring merchandise, Lemonis is bringing unsold merchandise from all the Len Druskin and LEN stores to the City Center location, with everything marked down 60 to 80 percent and all purchases final.
Shop the Runway @ City Center, 40 S. 7th St. #202, Minneapolis, 612-455-1663
Update (6/2/17): In May, the store rebranded from Shop the Runway to Union 73. “Our goal is to be the go-to trendy retailer in this community with our ever-changing collection of top quality men’s and women’s fashions, and we are offering over 1,500 pairs of jeans in all styles, washes and price points to start this new concept,” Lemonis says in a press release. The 7,000-square-foot boutique sells denim, jackets, tops, sweaters, dresses, and bottoms for men and women, as well as a range of shoes, accessories, and handbags from well-known national brands. The store promises monthly sales promotions and additional locations in the works in Jacksonville, Fla., and Chicago. Visit union73.com for more information.