The women’s boutique Peter Kate, which for 15 years was a major tenant in Greenville, will open its doors in its new location in the Fairfax Shopping Center in North Wilmington tomorrow.
Employees pulled late nighters this week readying the store for their grand opening. Even today they were opening loads of boxes, tweaking the lighting, and staging and assembling new merchandise with characteristic Peter Kate flair. Yukie from Flowers by Yukie placed fresh arrangements inside and out today to welcome visitors.
The retailer looks nothing like its tenant predecessor Radio Shack. The 3,000 square-foot space was stripped down to its “bare bones,” then architects and designers went to work on a plan to make the fashion and accessory store attractive to shoppers. “This is exactly what I dreamed of, and it’s finally here,” said Peter Kate owner Sissy Dent Aerenson.
The move is bittersweet for Aerenson, who enjoyed launching her business in Greenville’s Powder Mill Square and developing relationships with her customers and other retailers there. But she is looking forward to broadening her customer base and attracting new customers from North Wilmington and Pennsylvania.
In anticipation of their opening, the store expanded their shoe inventory and added new apparel lines, including a larger collection of jeans, t-shirts and accessories. “There were certain lines we were not able to represent properly, and now we can in our larger store,” said Aerenson.
But the biggest difference is of course the store location and the new design and display features that Aerenson had great fun with. All shelves are tastefully illuminated, and hip, eye-catching light fixtures are well-placed throughout. Toward the rear of the store, where the shoes and handbags are displayed, a super-long velvet couch in a gorgeous green and a pair of bright pink arm chairs invite eager shoppers to slip on the store’s latest footwear. The neutral-colored carpeting is durable but much lighter than in their previous store. Her goal was to keep the same aesthetic but move forward. “I am so excited about how big and bright and modern and clean this is. It is a completely different vibe.”
Aerenson worked with Delaware interior designer Mary Walls-Grant to come up with a comfortable and attractive environment. “Mary really created the concept, and together we came up with a phenomenal finished product.”
Walls-Grant helped Aerenson integrate their signature image of a butterfly, which has been on their shopping bags for several years, into many aesthetic features of the new store. Colorful butterflies were incorporated in beautiful wallpaper on the back of their shoe wall and can be seen dangling over the check-out counter, in the powder room and of course in the store window. “It was really symbolic for us,” said Aerenson.
Fall trends abound at the new store, including pops of richly-colored roses on a variety of apparel. “Definitely olive-hunter green is huge this season. And there is a ton of embroidery — on denim, jackets, shirts, even on handbag straps. We are really excited to have everyone come take a look and see all that’s new.”