Shoppers in Doylestown have a department store once again.
Fox & Holly Bucks County opened at 9 a.m. this morning in one of two spaces formerly occupied by Bon-Ton. The approximately 26,000-square-foot space had previously housed Bon-Ton’s men’s and housewares departments.
Fox & Holly Bucks County, him. her. home. is a pop-up store, a current trend in retail that allows for quick opening, said Karen Thompson, president and founder of LSL Brands, a division of Lace Silhouettes Lingerie.
“This will be a full-service department store,” she said of Fox & Holly, located in the smaller of the two spaces that comprised the Doylestown Bon-Ton, which closed Aug. 31.
The pop-up store includes men’s, women’s, outdoors, coastal lifestyle, intimate apparel and home departments, and has a section for special events. It will be open for at least three months.
“We have the intention of moving into the larger space once that gets renovated,” Thompson said, referring to the approximately 30,000 square feet that previously housed Bon-Ton’s women’s store. If all goes well, she added, she hopes to operate in both spaces.
“We did the pop-up in about five weeks. My team has been incredible,” she said.
“When we get into the larger space, we’ll have much more time to plan,” Thompson said, adding there will be additional departments, such as cosmetics, shoes and children’s.
For now, there are skin care/nontraditional cosmetics and some children’s items available at Fox & Holly.
“My intention is to create a store that is rich in brands, a store with changing merchandise and event space,” Thompson said just days before opening as she and her staff put the finishing touches on the store.
“We intend to (provide) upgraded service,” she said, including having a concierge desk and a stylist, making sure the consumer is the focus. “It’s actually what we’ve been doing for 30 years.”
Thompson’s company – which is celebrating 30 years in business – includes 11 stores in Lahaska, Cape May, N.J., and Princeton, N.J., as well as the new Fox & Holly Bucks County in the Doylestown Shopping Center on North Main Street, bringing the total to 12.
On a quest for more space after opening her 11th store, Farmers Daughter Bucks County in Peddler’s Village, Thompson decided to check out the former Bon-Ton.
“I walked in here and realized it was all the components. I realized it might be a possibility,” she said. In addition, Thompson said, the staff from the former Bon-Ton was “really dynamic” and wanted to save their home-town department store.
“I started to work with some of their managers, and we have hired a really good chunk of their team,” she said, along with additional staff and seasoned retailers from the region.
Thompson said she considers her business as more of a hospitality business than a traditional retailer. She offers customers personal stylists and complimentary refreshments in all of her stores and plans to also have an entertainment component with a variety of special events and a concierge service at Fox & Holly.
Bucks County-based Free Will Brewing will have events in the store Thursday through Sunday evenings, Santa will visit more than once, and groups can make use of the space for parties or special events.
“We actually think we’re serving the family, and the family means our community,” Thompson said. “We like to think of people as a guest in our home.”
As part of the company’s 30th anniversary, Thompson and LSL are giving to charities in the community. “This is 30 years since I started the company, and with that celebration, I’m going to be donating $30,000 to 30 local charities,” she said.
Thompson made the first selection, a donation of $1,000 to Pine2Pink, the new breast cancer charity in Doylestown, and her staff is voting on the remaining 29.
“That is the highlight of our project,” she said of the donations.
A formal ribbon-cutting for the store will take place at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, and the store will offer give-aways to shoppers with some purchases.