Trendy retail shakeup on Mass Ave

January 28, 2009
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Tantrum IndianapolisOne locally owned retailer aiming for a New York City vibe is closing and another is opening along Mass Ave downtown. The boutique shop Tantrum, which opened in October 2007 in the first floor of the 757 Mass Ave condo building, plans to close Jan. 31. The owners are planning a store-closing party complete with 80-percent markdowns on Jan. 30. Elsewhere on Mass Ave, “luxury men’s designer boutique� J. Benzal opened this month at 739 Massachusetts Avenue. The shop is owned by Butler graduate and New York transplant Mamadou Diallo. It will sell tailored suits and accessories for men.
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  • That' really too bad about Tantrum. I was hoping they would be on the frontline of a fashion revolution in Indy.
  • From what I could see of Tantrums offerings, it seemed pretty limited. I think that some of their labels were a little more obscure than they needed to be. I definitely think that the right mix of forward fashion could work on Mass Ave.
  • Give it a couple years and Mass Ave. will be able to hold it's own. :)
  • I think too many of these business owners forget that even though Indy is the 12th largest city in the country, we still have the sophistication of the 100th largest city in the country.
  • I think it's safe to say that we're at least more sophisticated than Pittsburgh, PA.
  • I don't see this high end men's boutique lasting long...how about appeal to the masses and put in an Urban Outfitters?
  • Yes I agree.
    Or an American Apparel.
  • wow. you folks have LOW EXPECTATIONS.

    I'll be there for the 80% off, that is fo shizzy!
  • I think the high end men's store could do well.........with the large gay male population in the area. I'd like to see Frankey's open a location there, they've remained popular in the city.
  • They probably would have done better in Nora Plaza, next to Frankey's. There are a lot more trendy young women with expendable income up there than there are in downtown. I'm sure the name didn't help, as well.
  • I would not be so sure that Frnakeys is doing well in either location.
  • That's crazy!Tailored suits in this economy?Where are they going to
    where them with the unemployement so high?I can't wait until they
    have there going out business sale.
  • There is nothing about this economy that will keep tailored suits from selling. Not all of us have lost our jobs and some of us actually have to wear suits to them.

    Tessa, this store closing isn't about any perceived lack of sophistication on the part of Indy's residents. I believe there are plenty of young people in Indianapolis who have an interest in cutting edge fashion. Just take a look at the labels and the selection this store had. It was weak. If you are going to try and make a go of a hip, edgy clothing retailer then you might consider carrying hip, edgy clothing. And having some labels people have actually heard of would help.... Monarchy, Diesel, G-Star, Antik, William Rast, Sunday Rocks, Local God, Trunk, Marc Jacobs, Ben Sherman, Penguin, Rock 'n Republic, True Religion.....
  • Wow, culd miles cork misspell a cuple mor werds
  • http://www.brookspublications.com/files/TRAILSIDE_feb09.pdf
  • Tessa - So casual dressers cannot be sophisticated? If I buy my suits at Penney's instead of some high-end trendy fashion store, I'm somehow an ingrate? Geez...shows a certain level of shallowness. Sohpistication is not measured by how much you pay for clothes or how you wear them. If so, then you and I speak two different languages. And, based on your definition, I hope Indy is never that sophisticated.
  • i know this is completely off subject, but i stumbled across this on A2SO4's website:

    http://www.a2so4.com/services/architectural-design/public/south-street-transportation-study/

    Has anyone heard about this? It sounds and looks great (although, taking a cue from The Urbanophile's urging of signage continuity would have been nice). I don't know if this is strictly a study or if it's a go...
  • Sophisticated does not mean spending $200 on a hooded sweatshirt, which is the type of thing these stores offer. Sophisticated is crafting a style at any budget. As a former New Yorker, I know people out there are more stylish and sophisticated at half the price than people who spend a couple of hundred bucks on a tack outfit just because it's billed as designer.
  • Blogojevich I will see you at the sale!
  • Tantrum is closing because its owner is moving back to the East Coast, not because she didn't offer a viable product line for Indy. So much for the speculation, folks!
  • Although I have never visited Tantrum, I did think it was excellent at the time that FINALLY another trendy retailer would open a location on Mass Ave. Especially since the loss of Splurge that used to be located next to Three Dog Bakery. I miss Splurge. That store had all the labels known to the majority of fashion conscious customers. The reason why that store didn't stay open was because the demand dwindled, therefore the change in customer spending habits reassured the notion that not very many people in Indy were as fashion conscious anymore. Nordstrom has pulled back drastically in their offerings in terms of certain designers and labels, solely because the downtown market is not yet cosmo enough. Sad, but true. I did however have a little skepticism about Tantrum in terms of their offerings... some of the labels they had were ones I had never heard of and when I am unfamiliar with something, I am more prone to not spend money for it, unless I had been persuaded otherwise. As for the new concept retailer for Mass Ave, for custom tailored suits for men, I can see how that makes sense, because there is still a demand for this type of service in the fashion industry. Indeed, caliboy28, there ARE still people working and making money and they are still adhering to the lifestyle they have always had before the economy became worse. There are those of us still interested in keeping that image because it is what comforts us, it is what we enjoy. As for those who lost jobs or have been affected by the economy, sure they won't be spending that kind of money on a service like that, but no one is telling them they have to.

    Daniel, you could be right, given the demographic makeup of the Mass Ave area as well as the rest of downtown, but then again, you could be amazed, because there are a lot of people living in downtown, more than ever before... Most generally, for the people living downtown would have a higher range of income. An Urban Outfitters would be AWESOME for Mass Ave. Imagine, that store on the corner of College and Mass, along with other new developments on other corners as well. I think that would be very smart.

    Miles Cork, you are absolutely funny yet a little too silly. Do you actually think everyone thinks like you? Your misspellings are too annoying for me to suggest corrections.
  • kewl. i will take the discounts. :lol:
  • Changed,

    So you're saying that the shop was doing fine, but the owner just decided to walk away from it? I would have just hired somebody else to run it day-to-day, if it was consistently making money.
  • Tantrum reminded me very much of Splurge: trendy, ill fitting, poorly made clothes. The only thing you could find under $100 at either store was a plain t-shirt and even those started out at $65
  • Kevin

    Not sure what you meant by ill fitting, poorly made clothes. Could you explain exactly what you mean by that, because honestly I beg to differ.
  • As a clothes guy, I'm looking forward to checking out the new place. We shall see.

    The clothing on offer in Indy generally is abysmal. Frankey's has some decent stuff, but a very limited about of it. Indy doesn't have anything like a store like say Context Clothing in Madison or Brigade in Cleveland. So there is a Saks - BFD. The men's selection is a joke.

    I sometimes ask myself, what is it that, when you move to Indy from a bigger city, you have to give up. Of things relevant to me, I've only found two: clothes and opera (IO is fine as a regional company but is not the San Francisco Opera). The good news is, now with internet shopping and Met simulcast - you don't have to even give them up anymore.
  • Hey Dustin....who died and left you King? You're the one who's annoying. Go get a JOB and make yourself useful.
  • Boomer, thank you for proving my point!
  • Circlecity18, what the hell are you talking about? You're a real idiot.
  • Maybe folks in Indianapolis are too smart to pay $65.00 for a t-shirt.
  • Nah, more than likely just too poor.
  • Harvey F

    You are right. Some people are smart enough to know how to handle their own money when it involves living their lives comfortably and with common sense. On the other hand, other people actually HAVE more money than some, that they will pay $65 for a t-shirt. Your one sided statement must mean that you look at it one way, that's it.
  • I think that you mean fiscally conservative.
  • Hey now.... I know plenty of people out here in L.A. who are as fiscally conservative not to pay $65 for a tshirt. Just as I know there are plenty of people in Indy who WOULD pay it... its all a matter of discretion. Some Indy people send there money on nice cars. Some Indy people spend their money on good food. Some Indy people spend their money on Designer labels. Some Indy people spend their money on fancy homes in Carmel and have no furniture. ;-) It's the same everywhere.

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  1. With Pence running the ship good luck with a new government building on the site. He does everything on the cheap except unnecessary roads line a new beltway( like we need that). Things like state of the art office buildings and light rail will never be seen as an asset to these types. They don't get that these are the things that help a city prosper.

  2. Does the $100,000,000,000 include salaries for members of Congress?

  3. "But that doesn't change how the piece plays to most of the people who will see it." If it stands out so little during the day as you seem to suggest maybe most of the people who actually see it will be those present when it is dark enough to experience its full effects.

  4. That's the mentality of most retail marketers. In this case Leo was asked to build the brand. HHG then had a bad sales quarter and rather than stay the course, now want to go back to the schlock that Zimmerman provides (at a considerable cut in price.) And while HHG salesmen are, by far, the pushiest salesmen I have ever experienced, I believe they are NOT paid on commission. But that doesn't mean they aren't trained to be aggressive.

  5. The reason HHG's sales team hits you from the moment you walk through the door is the same reason car salesmen do the same thing: Commission. HHG's folks are paid by commission they and need to hit sales targets or get cut, while BB does not. The sales figures are aggressive, so turnover rate is high. Electronics are the largest commission earners along with non-needed warranties, service plans etc, known in the industry as 'cheese'. The wholesale base price is listed on the cryptic price tag in the string of numbers near the bar code. Know how to decipher it and you get things at cost, with little to no commission to the sales persons. Whether or not this is fair, is more of a moral question than a financial one.

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