Apricot Lane to Open in Manchester


MANCHESTER — There's about to be one less empty storefront in Manchester.

Apricot Lane, a women's boutique carrying clothing, accessories, gifts, and home decor will be opening on Thursday, April 27 on Main Street where Banana Republic was formerly located.

The inventory, averaging about thirty to forty dollars per item, provides a more affordable and trendy alternative to higher-end shopping in Manchester.

"We were trying to find out what would be the best retail shop to open in that location, so we walked around town and talked to a lot of people including employees and shoppers,"said Diane Salerno, the general manager of Apricot Lane's Manchester store. "We asked what was missing and almost everyone said the same two things: There's not a good shoe store that is fashionable and affordable, and teenagers or young adults can't find party dresses at a good price here in town."

Apricot Lane is a national franchise based out of California with 85 locations in the United States. The Manchester store will be its first in Vermont.

"There are some corporate fundamentals that we have to follow," said Salerno. "At the same time, we can focus on the specific needs of the community."

Occupying a 6700 square foot space, Apricot Lane will be able to carry not only apparel but also home decor. By frequently ordered a variety of items in limited quantities, the team at Apricot Lane hopes to create a unique shopping experience.

"We've got a lot of great brands," said Salerno, "Many are smaller labels from California, which is hard to find in this area."

While the store is owned by Kleban Properties, the owner of the building, the new business will create nine jobs total including Salerno's position as general manager. All employees hired by Apricot Lane thus far are local.

Susan Groesbeck, the former manager of both Coldwater Creek and the Disney Store in Manchester, will be managing day-to-day operations at Apricot Lane.

"Susan knows the Manchester community well, and she's very familiar with the town," said Salerno.

Apricot Lane hopes to provide a new and affordable option for local shoppers as well as visitors.

"There's nothing in town for shoppers that don't like preppy or classic fashion," said Salerno. "There are a lot of sophisticated outlet stores, but this was a market that we were told was not being served."

In looking for a store to replace Banana Republic, Salerno and Kleban Properties looked for a business that would not only be successful, but also strengthen Manchester's retail industry. "We looked for a franchise that would fit that space, but also one that would compliment the town and the other retail businesses that are already here," said Salerno.

Reach Cherise Madigan at 802-490-6471.


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