New women’s store to open in Classen Curve

Published Thursday, October 26, 2017
by Molly M. Fleming

A new-to-market store will open this week in Classen Curve.

Missouri-based Soft Surroundings is moving into 4,200 square feet at the shopping center. Classen Curve is at the intersections of NW Grand Boulevard, N. Classen Boulevard, and N. Western Avenue.

The store sells women’s apparel, beauty, and home items. It started in 1998 as a catalog company, then expanded into Internet sales.

In August 2012, private equity firm Brentwood Associates became a majority owner. With the new investment, the company started building a few stores annually. This year, it’s constructing 17 new stores, including Oklahoma City’s, which is the 55th store.

“We don’t think retail is dying,” said Danny Boddy, senior vice president of retail for Soft Surroundings. “We feel like it’s the perfect, last evolution of our brand. What the store brings is the tactile piece. This gives her the exposure to see the breadth of the product and see what we’re all about.”

He said Oklahoma City made the list of this year’s sites because there was vacancy at a high-end center. He said not all cities have a space where the company wants to open, though it would like to be close to its customers.

Classen Curve also offered easy front-door parking, he said. That helps with the brand’s appeal, which is designed for women who don’t have a lot of time. That’s why home goods, beauty, and apparel are all under one roof.

“What makes us different is the product is curated specifically for our customer,” he said. “We spend a lot of time finding things that are unique and different. Nowadays you can find the same items in multiple locations. We source products from all over the world.”

Soft Surroundings’ target customer is women 45 to 60 years old.

That age group can be a challenge because they tend to be set in their shopping ways, said Candace Corlett, president of New York-based WSL Strategic Retail, an analyst firm. But the age group doesn’t want to let its wardrobe fall behind, she said.

“It can be hard to get them energized to shop,” she said.

If a store can offer good customer service and easy in-and-out parking, then they are likely to get baby-boomer money, she said. She hasn’t been in a Soft Surroundings, but she’s ordered items online. It does stand up to its name with offering soft products.

“I think they deserve an applause for recognizing there’s a strong boomer market that wants to look trendy,” she said.

Soft Surroundings opens Friday at 10 a.m. Complimentary snacks, drinks, and beauty treatments will be available all day.

The Classen Curve store is the only one planned for Oklahoma. Soft Surroundings is the second store to open in the center in the last month. Cos Bar started operations there in September. Blanton Property broker Laci Jackson Ravina is handling the leasing at the Curve, Nichols Hills Plaza, and The Triangle.

Ravina said previously Athleta, Evereve, Boardroom men’s salon, Francesca’s, and Bassett Furniture are under construction in Classen Curve. Hollywood Feed pet food store and Hopdoddy Burger Bar are filling space in Nichols Hills Plaza.

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