FARGO - The countdown is on for the closure of the Alan Evans Bridal store at Moorhead’s Center Mall.
The shop at 512 Center Ave. is moving and consolidating stock at the remodeled and renamed Fargo location, RSVP Bride by Alan Evans at 1535 42nd St. S.
The full transition is expected to be completed by May 25, according to the company’s Facebook page.
“The timing was right,” co-owner Mark Bayer said Wednesday, May 15.
Bayer said the clearance sale is going well, despite May being the slowest month for Alan Evans over its 21 years at Center Mall.
The Center Mall location is a large store, Bayer said, so there will be a lot of downsizing of stock. He said a spot is being rented in Center Mall proper, separate from their current location, that will act as a clearance center for the bridal shop going forward.
Bayer said the model of having one large store and a clearance outlet is popular in the bridal industry.
“If it goes well, it will stay,” Bayer said of the outlet. If not, it will be a temporary measure.
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The decision to move was precipitated by several factors.
The closing of the Herberger’s store at Center Mall got Bayer and his partners, Rand Allrich and Valerie and Jeff Softing (who own the building attached to the east side of Center Mall), to consider their own future at the mall.
Then the Softings received an offer for their building, which they accepted.
A new round of road construction on Center Avenue, which in the past had been a drag on the business, helped seal the decision, Bayer said.
“This was the right time to maybe consolidate a bit,” Bayer said. “We’re excited about the move. It’s a positive thing.”
The future of the Man From Alan Evans shop, which handles tuxedo rentals, is still being considered, Bayer said.
Going forward, prom dresses will be sold from a pop-up store for four or five months every year to serve that seasonal market. The pop-up store will still carry the name RSVP by Alan Evans, he said.
Fargo store Manager Lexi Haakenson said the move has gone smoothly.
“We are slowly getting everything moved over,” she said. “We’re kind of moving things in shifts.”
Bridesmaids and mother of the bride dresses have already been moved to Fargo, leaving only the bridal gowns in Moorhead, Haakenson said.
Haakenson said the Fargo store, which has been open about nine years, has a more attractive location just west of the West Acres mall.
Bayer said he’ll miss being in Moorhead.
“Moorhead’s been very kind to us, very welcoming,” Bayer said. “In the future, if there is an opportunity, we may be back.”