Ladies shoes. , one suggestion from the audience was that New Canaan needed another store offering shoes for women.
That gathering was part of the research done by the in concert with consultants from BFJ Planning and Urbanomics. Their task was to identify the issues facing downtown and to offer solutions for its revitalization. The committee will present their findings to the public at Town Hall meeting scheduled for 5 p.m. tonight. At 6:30 p.m., they will present to the town's at a meeting also open to the public and broadcast on NCTV 79.
Meanwhile, former New Canaan resident Kim Walin and her partner Christina Johnson Wolff are preparing to step into the shoes, and space, left vacant in 2010 when closed its doors at 36 Elm St., and offer the town's residents, "accessible luxury" shoes, handbags and accessories.
While Walin & Wolff is their first store, they are not strangers to the business of retail. Wolff, a resident of Greenwich, is a former CEO of Saks Fifth Avenue. Walin has a background as a financial analyst specializing in retail. When Wolff moved on from Saks, to consulting on Wall Street and advising on retail acquisitions, the two future partners met.
Saying they are "thrilled to be in New Canaan" the partners describe their vision as offering, "a Main Street concept that will allow women to shop locally and to find the brands they would not be able to find outside a major department store."
Asked to identify brands that fit that profile, they mentioned Stuart Weitzman, Kate Spade, Michael Kors and Hunter boots. They also said they will carry several "top designers" like Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo, as well as introduce some newer designer brands.
"We think that there is an opportunity to sell merchandise for different lifestyle needs --- career or that great event and a more casual assortment for every day," said Walin.
Speaking at the MDSC meeting in June, 2011, their landlord, Arnold Karp, seemed to confirm their business assessment when he told the audience that Plaza Too had done $3 million in business their last year in town. Their decision to close he said was due to business considerations at their other stores.
Their plan is to open on Elm Street by mid-March. Walin said the partners have plans in the works to open a second store in the area by August of this year and will disclose the locations when negotiations for the space are complete.