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September 24 , 2004

Store Seeks to be Destination for Mothers-To-Be

September 9th, 2004 - Tricia Lynn Silva Philadelphia-based Mothers Work Inc. is bringing its ultimate baby destination to a Northwest Side retail center. The Destination Maternity Superstore will be located at the Colonnade Centre at 9802 Colonnade Blvd. The store is set to open on Oct. 29. The San Antonio store marks the sixth Destination Maternity outlet for Mothers Work, says Rebecca C. Matthias, who is the president, chief operating officer and director of Mothers Work. At 6,000 square feet, Destination Maternity much larger than Mothers Work's typical retail outlets. Other stores under the firm's umbrella are A Pea in the Pod, Mini Maternity and Motherhood Maternity. But the idea with Destination Maternity is to bring all the offerings of these maternity apparel stores -- and more -- under one roof. The Destination Maternity stores will also include a myriad of books and magazines regarding the special day; the store also will have a scrapbook section for the purpose of chronicling the event. Various health items, including vitamins and body-care products, will be sold. The superstore will even offer yoga, Lamaze, and financial classes to help new parents set up a savings program for college. "This is going to be the ultimate baby destination," says Matthias. But motherhood is an occasion that affects the entire family. So all of the Destination Maternity stores feature a children's area -- complete with a plasma television and toys. These play stations have been very successful, says Matthias. The superstores also feature a separate relaxation area for adults that includes a plasma T.V. as well. Lasting bond The superstore concept, says Matthias, will allow Mothers Work to expand on its current success as a leading retailer for expectant mothers. "We only have (this customer) for nine months," she says. "We want to draw on our strengths -- our ability to be the things that other retailers can't be -- in order to maximize that relationship." Destination Maternity will also be key to growing Mothers Work beyond the over 1,100 stores it currently operates. Adds Matthias: "It is by far one of the most exciting ways -- and my favorite." As has been the case in other cities where Mothers Work has set up the superstores, the firm will be closing some smaller retail stores here and in other parts of Texas, and thus concentrating on attracting customers to the larger centers. The goal, says Matthias, is to both consolidate its operations and increase sales -- which currently stand at roughly $500 million. Mothers Work currently has a Pea in the Pod store at North Star Mall. J. Sherman Hinkebein Jr. represented the owner of the Colonnade -- an entity known as Twin Oaks Properties Inc. -- on Mothers Work's lease. Hinkebein is the executive vice president of Dallas-based The Retail Connection LP. Retail Connection Chief Executive Officer Steve Lieberman represented Mothers Work in the deal. Hinkebein also recently represented Venice, Calf.-based Gold's Gym International in its negotiations for a new gym on the far Northeast Side. As previously reported by the Business Journal, the new 40,000-square-foot Gold's Gym will open next spring at Live Oak Crossing.
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