SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The pandemic has been tough for many retail stores, causing some companies to re-evaluate their business model.
“We opened in The Bridges in 2015,” J Ella Owner Jael Thorpe said.
Brookings based J Ella boutique has seen success in its Sioux Falls location. But with a pandemic going on, Thorpe decided to make some changes.
“2020 was a year that caused every company to re-evaluate, to just look at their whole operation and what were the strengths, what were the opportunities. So for us, part of our brand and company is Gameday Social, which is licensed collegiate apparel, lifestyle apparel; we design and produce apparel, as that company has really grown over the past couple of years, we just decided to focus more on that,” Thorpe said.
J Ella will continue to serve customers online and out of its Brookings storefront.
“Our online sales have grown, our Brookings store has grown, this location has not necessarily,” Thorpe said.
Nearby Amavo boutique is also switching focus and will be closing its storefront in The Bridges. But as these two boutiques transition out, another local clothing company will be moving in.
“A really big portion of our customers live in Sioux Falls, so I thought it would be a great move,” The Mason Jar owner Katie WIlson said.
The Mason Jar Boutique began entirely online and then opened storefronts in Dell Rapids and Arizona. Wilson paused opening her third store front when the pandemic hit but decided now is the time to move forward.
“I don’t think that retail is dead yet,” Wilson said. “You definitely can’t try clothes on online and we have such a big demographic in Sioux Falls that shops with us that we thought it would be just more convenient and for people to do Sioux Falls pick-ups because we do online ordering then pick up in store.”
J Ella boutique is currently running a store closing sale at the Sioux Falls store. The Mason Jar boutique will open inside the space on March 6th.