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Trove sets sights on bringing year-round shopping downtown

Posted: August 2, 2011 - 9:53pm
Pat McLaughlin of Ontario, Canada, looks through the wares at Trove, a new store on South Franklin Street, on Tuesday. The store plans to stay open year around.   Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Pat McLaughlin of Ontario, Canada, looks through the wares at Trove, a new store on South Franklin Street, on Tuesday. The store plans to stay open year around.

Those behind the Alaska Shirt Co. have a new addition to the downtown area this year. This venture, called Trove, isn’t restricting itself to tourists nor the summer season.

Trove, located at 406 S. Franklin St., is a new year-round shop by the docks. The shelves are stacked with items one might find in such a shop: clothes, jewelry, home décor, glassware and novelty items. The difference is these are targeted more at locals than cruise passengers.

Owner Daren Booten said the idea is to have more “non-touristy” merchandise and things geared to what locals will like. He describes the name coming from the term “treasure trove,” which is what he wants to provide residents who have had fewer options in the winter.

Booten said the idea is to encourage the shoppers to return downtown all year but knows this will be a challenge. He is depending on word-of-mouth and local support to keep the place going after the cruise ships leave.

“There are other stores that would probably stay open if we can get the right response,” he said. “We need to get people shopping downtown in winter again.”

Trove’s store manager, Meghan Gustafson, says the response so far has been strong from customers glad there will be a shop like this so they won’t have to buy from out-of-town. She said it’s been exciting to see people coming in for baby showers, wedding gifts and birthdays, which are not always the case for the downtown stores.

Gustafson said customers have been returning. She hopes this will continue into the winter, as that is what will be needed.

Booten’s wife, Tamala, does the buying for both Trove and Alaska Shirt Co. He explained this process itself will differ from other stores to keep merchandise varied. He said things are ordered in small quantities so that whole different items can replace those that run out.

Booten decided on this venture after the rug store that formerly occupied the space decided not to return.

“So I decided instead of renting to another place, which could end up being another jewelry store or something else, let’s do something year-round and get some different stuff into Juneau,” he said.

• Contact reporter Jonathan Grass at 523-2276 or at jonathan.grass@juneauempire.com.

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