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Non-hostile retail takeovers

By Jennie Nunn | June 16, 2011 | Story Best of the Bay

It’s not as big as Marc Jacobs’s string of stores in SoHo or Ralph Lauren’s domination of Madison in the low Seventies, but San Francisco definitely has its own version of the phenom: shops that create their own mini fiefdoms. Following in the footsteps of the Heidi Says conglomerate on Fillmore, Picnic, the cute-eclectic clothing store in Russian Hill, opened a next-door store, Picnic Home, selling letterpress stationery by Egg Press, etched glassware from Roost, and pillows by Thomas Paul. Over in Hayes Valley, Catherine Chow and Corina Nurimba jumped in, going round the corner from their first venture, Azalea Boutique, with Welcome Stranger, a men’s store that features items like red and white boatneck sweaters by APC, tissue scarves by Tilo, and salvaged-denim jeans by their namesake brand. Then they set up Rand + Statler, a more sophisticated version of both stores, right next to their nine-year-old flagship. “Azalea really started as a post-college project for us,” says Chow. But a lot has changed since then. “Our shoppers have grown up with us, from being single in their twenties to dating and getting married and having kids, so we felt like we wanted to create a more refined space.” If they keep up the trend, Hayes Valley might need to petition for a new name. Picnic: 1808 Polk St., 415-346-6566; picnic home, 1806 Polk St., 415-346-6556; azalea Boutique, 411 Hayes St., 415-861-9888; Welcome Stranger: 460 Gough St., 415-864-2079; Rand + Statler: 425 Hayes St., 415-634-0881



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