Make up and skin care retailer Houppette announced today that they will be closing their store in Kennett Square and are making a move in Greenville to a larger space in Greenville Crossing. Owner Cristi Miller hopes to attract customers from PA to Wilmington to the expanded location.
Houppette has been a fixture in Powder Mill Square for 17 years, and many of her Greenville customers have been with her from the beginning. Even with two coffee shops in the shopping center that certainly generate foot traffic, Miller says her store also offers lingerie and loungewear, and the time is right for her to seek a larger environment, so she can offer even more to her customers.
We caught up with Miller today to ask about her plans.
Town Square Delaware: When did you come to realize that you had outgrown your current space in Powder Mill Square?
Miller: A few years ago, as our selection expanded, we realized we needed more space to house our products and the cosmetic tester units. We’re often full to capacity and have had to get creative for storage and display. In the new space, we are excited to have additional room to better merchandise, and also to offer additional products and services, including facials.
TSD: How long was the Houppette store in Kennett Square open, and why the desire to close that location?
We opened the Kennett Square location in August 2015, so we’ve been open approximately two-and-a-half years. It has been challenging to get traction in Kennett alongside the so-called “retail apocalypse” that has resulted in a lot of small businesses and brick and mortar stores suffering. We realize to stay competitive and meet the challenges of competing with online shopping, we need to reinvent. We can better serve our customers and expand in an exciting way on what we do by consolidating both our stores into a single, larger location.
TSD: Where precisely is your new location in Greenville Crossing? What’s your timing? And tell us a bit about the new space?
We will be located at 4021D Kennett Pike in Greenville Crossing—the space to the left of the Delaware Running Company. We will begin construction in May, with the goal of opening in July 2018. The space is approximately 1.5 times the size of our current space in Greenville. It’ll be enough to provide us with the additional space for a facial room and some exciting new things without losing the intimate feel of our Greenville store.
TSD: Why was it important to relocate to a larger space? And will you offer new services there?
To house everything we would like to offer our customers, we have gotten creative in our current space in Greenville. However, we would like to better showcase our products. The larger space will allow us to do just that. We will be offering facial services using our favorite skincare brands, and we’ll be expanding our organic beauty selection. We’ll be announcing the new beauty categories closer to our opening date in the new store. Stay tuned!
TSD: There seems to be some available space in Powder Mill Square and probably things you will miss by leaving that shopping center. What were the factors in choosing space in Greenville Crossing?
Miller: We did explore the available opportunities in Powder Mill Square. However, the spaces were either too vast or too small. It’s important to us to have additional space without losing the cozy feel of our Greenville store. Greenville Crossing had the right space at the right time.
TSD: Can you give us a sense of how customers will feel and what they might notice when you move into your new location?
Miller: It is our greatest hope that our customers will be excited about Houppette’s new chapter—including new services and products. We would like our customers to feel just as at home in the new space as they have for years in our Powder Mill Square location, but also feel they now have access to an updated and expanded shopping experience with us.