uggs for babies Upscale retailer sold on downtown Windsor upswing
Four years after joining the retail exodus and ducking out of the downtown, an upscale merchandiser has rediscovered Windsor urban core and reclaimed a spot.
totally believe in the downtown and the future of the downtown we see a trend here and we want to be a part of it, said Paul Twigg of Lazares Co.
Located in the former Lazare Furs at 493 Ouellette Ave., the rebranded store offers shoppers high end, and high cool, fashions from Italian cloth outerwear, shoes and Uggs footwear to upscale accessories and unique works in the boutique and, of course, furs. There even locally created artwork hanging on the walls that for sale.
Retail in downtown Windsor, coming back, it all positive right now, said Warren Twigg, Paul son and the new operation general manager.
Lazare Furs abandoned its main floor retail corner at Ouellette Avenue and Maiden Lane in 2011, at a time when empty storefronts were common and retail appeared near death door in the downtown. When fire struck the adjacent business a short time later, a good chunk of the block was empty and shabby looking.
Lazares Co. GM Warren Twigg at the famous Ouellette Avenue establishment Thursday February 5, 2015. (NICK BRANCACCIO/The Windsor Star)
is important, to have a high end retailer put their confidence back in the core after such retail loss it says a lot is happening in the downtown, said Larry Horwitz, chairman of the Downtown Windsor BIA.
Lazares Co. is the latest beneficiary of the DWBIA retail recruitment program, which offers limited financial incentives to businesses willing to give the downtown a try. The program, which offers targeted types of businesses up to $650 a month for a year, helped lure Pushers Co. clothing store next door to Lazares, and Aquarium Windsor next to it, filling up a large ugly gap along Ouellette. The former also boasts a barber shop, the latter a cafe.
did lose a lot of high end tenants through the years, said Horwitz. sends a message to everyone we past the pioneer stage, he added.
Paul Twigg said the family owned business was happy with its Ottawa Street location, but that when the lease came up for renewal, and no new tenant could be found for the downtown location, it was decided to rebrand, extensively renovate and branch out from strictly furs to re establish a presence in the core.
Citing the improved and expanding footprints in the downtown of the University of Windsor, St. Clair College, The Windsor Star and other businesses rediscovering Windsor core, doing this at just the right time, he said. with the dollar low, that just icing on the cake, he added.
Even during the years of having the main retail floor unoccupied, the family owned company administration and accounting operations continued in the basement, the second floor was (and is) devoted to the workroom and cleaning plant, and the third floor contains the cold storage vault for furs.
Paul Twigg said the clientele drawn to the business upscale and luxury retail offerings will make Lazares Co. a retail destination in the downtown. He said when the paper coverings came off the new display windows Tuesday night, were stopping in the street to look. said there will be more retail recruitment announcements in the near future and that the DWBIA program will continue we fill up every vacant storefront in the downtown that the goal.