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First Sundial

Lululemon is the first store to close in St. Petersburg’s Sundial.Tampa Bay Times

DIRK SHADD | Times

Lululemon is the first store to close in St. Petersburg’s Sundial.

ST. PETERSBURG — Yoga retailer Lululemon has become the first tenant in the Sundial shopping center to close its doors.

Lululemon, a Vancouver-based company known primarily for selling $118 yoga pants for women and men, closed its showroom at Sundial in downtown St. Petersburg this month. But it came as no surprise to other tenants, who confirmed that the retailer planned to close for some time.

The 900-square-foot downtown showroom had irregular hours — it was closed Monday through Wednesday and Sunday. It was open from noon to 6 p.m. on Thursday and noon to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The retailer has been known to use smaller "showrooms" as a way to test sales in a new market before opening a bigger, permanent full-line store, or abandoning a market altogether.

For example, Lululemon operated a showroom in downtown Sarasota for three years before closing it and opening a full-line store in the Mall at University Town Center.

"They were only planning on being there for a year and had two six-month options, " said entrepreneur Bill Edwards, who bought the Sundial property at 153 Second Ave. N in 2011. "We have already signed a new tenant …, which will be a perfect fit."

Edwards declined to say who the next tenant will be.

Lululemon has two stores on the other side of the bay — at Hyde Park Village and at International Plaza in Tampa. It is unclear if Lululemon will open another store in St. Petersburg. Representatives from the company were not immediately available to comment.

Edwards redeveloped the center and retailers and restaurants began opening in September 2014. The latest retailer to open was John Craig, a men's apparel boutique, at Second Avenue N and Second Street. The Lululemon space is the only empty retail space in Sundial. A restaurant is under contract to fill the remaining anchoring space on the second floor, Edwards told the Times in October.

"Everyone else is doing marvelous at Sundial, " Edwards said. "I'm happy with where we are."

facts

The tenants

• Ruth's Chris Steak House

• Sea Salt

• FarmTable Kitchen

• Locale Market

• Tracy Negoshian

• L.O.L. Kids

• Tommy Bahama

• Diamonds Direct

• Happy Feet

• Jackie Z Style Co.

• Juxtapose

• Florida Jean Co.

Source: www.tampabay.com
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