Retail is making a comeback as Austinites get vaccinated and ditch online shopping for the in-person experience.
Whether you're looking to do some revenge shopping or just curious about what's going on in the retail community, we've got you covered with the latest in shops and business.
New opening: LoveShackFancy, 1011 South Congress Ave.
In its eighth national expansion, LoveShackFancy is taking on the Capital City. With its pink checkered floors, canopy of florals and pink guitars lining the store, this boutique is everything you want in an Instagram background. Plus, it offers vintage band tees, bandanas, mini-skirts and dresses. "The boutique was created for every generation of Austin girls," Founder & Creative Director Rebecca Hessel Cohen said.
Located on South Congress in the Music Lane development, the boutique will open for the first time Saturday with drinks, a photo booth and music.
Lululemon's window installation
As the Austin Marathon is set to kick off on Sunday, Lululemon on Music Lane in South Congress is recognizing those putting themselves through the grueling run around town. Names of all marathon participants can be found displayed in the store window.
It's been more than a year since the marathon took place, but the show goes on in a COVID friendly fashion.
Kendra Scott partnership
Kendra Scott announced this week it is partnering with Diligent Robotics, a female-founded A.I. company that created robot Moxi, on its Kendra Cares program. Through the partnership and program, the robot will assist healthcare workers by providing social and emotional support to patients in children's hospitals. The robot will ultimately deliver customized pieces of jewelry to patients that will help minimize risk of exposure to COVID.
New opening: Studs, 1510 South Congress Ave.
Looking to get a new ear piercing and earrings? Studs has expanded outside the New York market and onto South Congress. With more than 1,200 on the waiting list to book an appointment last week, Studs chose to expand to Austin where the owners believe a lot of younger residents would like ear piercings.
The shop uses only curated needles, instead of piercing guns, for a precise piercing that will heal better. And unlike tattoo parlors where most typically go for a piercing, they have a variety of ear accessories in store. Studs opened last week and is operating on an appointment-only basis.
New opening: The RealReal, 11700 Domain Blvd.
What started as a luxury consignment online store has since expanded to 10 brick-and-mortar stores. The RealReal is now operating at the Domain. Brands offered at the store include Gucci, Chanel, Prada and Cartier, among others.
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Republic Square Park has turned into a Ford-themed fiesta for its Built to Connect pop-up experience, complete with test drives, off-roading and an inside look at the Tesla-rivaling electric vehicles that the motor vehicle company is planning to integrate over the next decade.
The outdoor driving event is free, open to the public and will stay in the park from now until Oct. 24, offering rides on Bronco Mountain, a 0-40 mph zip in the 2022 all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning and a chance to win an original Ford Bronco.
The event kicked off with a panel of speakers, including Austin Director of Transportation Rob Spillar, Ford General Manager Darren Palmer and engineering specialists discussing Ford's goals to make it so that 50% of the vehicles on the road are electric by 2030.
As an eco-conscious city, Spillar said that around 4,000 vehicles, or 22% of the Texas electric vehicle market, as well as over 15,000 plugins lie in Austin, meaning driving electric just got accessible.
"Austin, as you know, is a fast-growing modern city that is committed to protecting the long term health and viability of our communities and strategies that reduce greenhouse gases, mitigate the effects of climate change and improve the drone quality of life here in Central Texas for all of our residents," Spillar said.
And Ford's electric vehicles are putting up some steep competition for newly-Austin-based company Tesla. The new electric Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lighting offer amenities that used to be exclusive to Musk's brand, such as the BlueCruise self-driving network. The cars also boast a 300-mile range on a single charge, assisted reverse technology and access to the biggest charging network outside of the home.
Plus, Ford's got affordability on its side. The F-150 Lightning starts at $39,974 and the Mustang Mach-E starts at $42,895, while the cheapest Tesla model, the Model 3, starts at $41,990 and averages 262 miles on a single charge.
Speaking of price, the numbers on the electric vehicles may look like a little more than you'd like to pay for your transport, but Palmer promises it will pay off. In addition to a $7,500 tax credit you can earn for your sustainability, you'll never have to buy a pricey tank of gas again.
"Personally, I have not found one customer ever, who would go back to gas so that says something," Palmer said. "I realized, at $51,000, that car outruns every childhood hero car I ever had."
Texas buyers: take note. The Ford Lightning can power your house for three to 10 days, just in case the statewide power grid fails. You can take it glamping with you, so you don't have to leave the comfort of modern life behind, and in a pinch, Palmer said he's even seen a wedding party powered by the truck.
Ford is investing $30 billion into the U.S. market to meet demand by 2025 and the new electric truck already has over 150,000 reservations.
"I think they're going to take off much faster than you expect—they're going to be extremely, extremely popular next year," Palmer said. "With the incentives that are available today, this is starting to become more mainstream and viable for more and more families. We couldn't have done that before, we didn't have the technology, or the technology at that price."
The event is ongoing through next weekend from 12-9 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.- 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
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The Austin Police Department is searching for a man who is believed to be behind a series of robberies that is "sexual in nature and is escalating."
Three robbery cases that took place in North Austin within a 30-day period are being investigated by police, who report the victims all had similar descriptions for suspects in the case. The suspect is described as a 20-25-year-old Spanish-speaking Hispanic man, approximately 5'3, thin build, recently shaved with black hair. Police say he is known to typically wear athletic clothing and used a knife on each of the victims.
Here's a breakdown of the cases:
1. At 7:56 a.m. on Sept. 22 at the 1600 block of Rutland Drive, a woman was walking alone and returning from her child's school when a suspect walking by inappropriately touched her. The suspect then grabbed her by the arm, threatened her with a knife and demanded "her property."
2. At 8:10 a.m. on Oct. 11 at 1700 block of Colony Creek Drive, a woman was walking to her child's school when a man approached her with a knife and then demanded her personal items. The suspect then said he would return the items in return for sex.
3. At 11:03 a.m. on Oct. 13 at the 9300 block of Northgate Boulevard, a woman was with her child in the laundry room of an apartment complex when a man walked in performing a sexual act. The suspect demanded personal items from the victim, threatening to hurt the victim and take her child.
Police cautioned the public to walk without earbuds, stay alert and report suspicious activity to the police.
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