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Changes coming for three downtown Colorado Springs businesses

By: Katherine Blunt
August 6, 2014 Updated: August 7, 2014 at 6:54 am
Caption +
Diana Trevino shops for shoes with her son Noah McIntyre, 4, at Brown's Shoe Fit CO. Wednesday, August 6, 2014. Downtown businesses on Tejon Street near Bijou Street are about to be shuffled as Saboz closes and Brown's Shoe Fit Co. and Regina's Unique Boutique prepare to swap locations. Michael Ciaglo, The Gazette

Three longstanding businesses in downtown Colorado Springs are about to switch it up.

Saboz, a shoe, handbag and clothing retailer, is closing at the end of the month and is transferring some of its lines to other local retailers. And Brown's Shoe Fit, a shoe store, is trading spaces with Regina's Unique Boutique, a clothing and accessories store.

Linda Bridger, owner of Saboz at 129 N. Tejon St., is retiring. After running the store for 12 years, she said she wants to spend more time hanging out with her granddaughter and doing activities she enjoys, such as gardening and drawing.

"It was just time," she said.

Brown's, which has operated at 123 N. Tejon St. for 29 years, has agreed to carry some of Saboz's shoe lines, including FLY London, Pikolinos and Jambu. It will also carry Saboz's Baggallini and Anuschka bags. Bridger said other stores in the area are vying to carry the remaining brands.

"My customers are thrilled because they know the shoes will be carried by somebody," she said.

In addition to Saboz's lines, Brown's will soon be able to carry more shoes. At 5,000 square feet, Regina's space at 119 N. Tejon St. is nearly twice the size of Brown's, which occupies about 2,600 square feet. Ashley Freml, manager of Brown's in Colorado Springs, said the added space will allow her to stock more inventory, add a children's shoe section and better display the store's offerings.

"I think we're going to do a lot more business just by having more space," she said. "Every day, I get about a half dozen people asking about kids shoes, sometimes a dozen."

The bigger space will cost significantly more to rent. Brown's now pays $3,600 per month; after the move, it will pay $6,000. But Freml said she expects added business to offset the increase.

"I don't expect (the increase) to faze us at all," she said. "It's still some of the cheapest rent for retail."

Regina Romrell, who owns Regina's Unique Boutique, said that after 25 years in business,she's ready to downsize. Though she'll have to consolidate her displays, her operations won't change much.

"I'll still have the same inventory and carry the same lines," she said. "The space isn't too big for me, but Brown's really wants to expand."

Brown's and Regina's will likely begin the moving process by the end of the year. Brown's will remain open throughout the renovation process, while Regina's will be closed during January. Both stores are expected to open in their new locations in February.

Romrell, who owns the building that houses her store, Brown's and Runner's Roost, plans to update the storefront of the smaller space, while Freml said she wants to expose the original brick walls and wooden floors in the larger space.

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