EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

March 8, 2013

Businesses team up for downtown Blowout

By Dustin Luca

---- — ANDOVER — A dozen downtown businesses are taking over Old Town Hall today as part of the Andover Business Community Association’s two-day Boutique Blowout.

Outside of Old Town Hall, even more downtown businesses will be offering discounts on “literally everything from jewelry to phones, to men’s and women’s (clothing), truly down and dirty warehouse pricing,” Chic Consignment owner Lisa Nardone said.

The Old Town Hall event runs today only from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., while the sales going on in participating businesses will run during their regular hours today and tomorrow.

Participating businesses will be marked with green balloons, and maps will be available pointing out the locations of participating retailers, said Amy Finegold, owner of dresscode.

The event expands from the three participating businesses that held it last year, when Chic Consignment, Lyn Evans and Izzy’s Emporium set up shop in Old Town Hall for one day, to the full 22-store roster for this year.

“It was so successful last year, that people who didn’t participate saw it as something important to be part of,” Finegold said.

How businesses will be handling the Blowout will vary location to location, with some taking the sale as a chance to push old inventory out the door while others aim to bring new fashion trends in, according to Finegold and Lyn Evans manager Debbie Hirsh.

With the spring cruise season approaching, customers “can see what the latest trends are for spring,” Hirsh said. “They can buy spring if they’re going away. We’ll have new merchandise in the stores.”

Greater Boston Running Co. manager Tom Poland said his business is participating “to push out old product and have customers save money.” But he also hopes the store , which opened in November, will gain some exposure.

Before opening in Andover, Poland said he worked with another running footwear business in New Jersey, which offered frequent sidewalk sales, but nothing to the scale of what’s taking place this weekend.

For those who have already solidified their place downtown, the event is a way to get more exposure from those outside the community, according to Hirsh.

“We gain new customers from an event like this,” she said. “We get people in from out of town, and they may have known about dresscode, but they didn’t know about me. We see the positive sales from an event like this forever.”

Participating businesses: Beauty Solutions, Chic Consignment, CoCo Collection, Cristina’s Bridal, Dino Furs, dresscode, Elements-Therapeutic Massage, Greater Boston Running Company, Irresistibles, Izzy’s Emporium, Ivory Corset, Lyn Evans Potpourri Designs, Nest, Quiet Pleasures, Rapids, Royal Jewelers, Savoir Faire Home, Sense of Wonder, Shaban’s Tailor Shop, SoleAmour, Sweet Mimi’s, Verizon Wireless.