The floor at Shop the Runway
photo by tj turner
After longtime twin cities apparel retailer Len Druskin went bankrupt earlier this year, its assets were purchased by reality TV star and investor Marcus Lemonis. He turned the chain’s Len location at City Center into Shop the Runway, a fast-fashion offshoot of his Chicago-based retail concept, Runway.
As the star of CNBC’s The Profit, a reality show about saving small businesses, Lemonis has a proven track record of bringing businesses back from the brink of failure. In 2015, he invested in struggling national retailer Blues Jean Bar, which he rebranded as Denim & Soul and addressed issues with inventory, management, and margins to help it become profitable.
Like Len Druskin’s discount-priced Len stores, Shop the Runway offers a fashion-forward, affordably priced mix of clothing and accessories for men and women from some of the hip brands previously carried by Len, including Love Stitch and Just Black Jeans, plus additions such as Runway’s private label.
The skyway-level store hopes to entice downtown dwellers and office workers alike with impulse items such as scarves, jewelry, handbags, and message tees. With Shop the Runway’s proximity to discount retail outlets Saks Off 5th, Marshalls, and the forthcoming Nordstrom Rack, Nicollet Mall is on its way to becoming a destination for discount-loving shoppers.
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.