Retail Roundup: Briargate hollers ‘go fish’

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Bara Sushi owner Sam Ahn wanted a location with a patio at the Promenade Shops at Briargate and waited for the spot to open before launching his second Colorado restaurant.

Bara Sushi owner Sam Ahn wanted a location with a patio at the Promenade Shops at Briargate and waited for the spot to open before launching his second Colorado restaurant.

Sushi lovers on the city’s north end can now rejoice. Bara Sushi owner Sam Ahn will open a second Colorado location at the Promenade Shops at Briargate.

Ahn, who also owns the Bara Sushi location in Denver’s Tech Center, had been waiting for the right spot to become available at the Briargate shopping center for five years, according to Promenade Shops at Briargate General Manager Jennifer Crowley.

“He has wanted to enter this market for a long time and the economics finally made sense,” she said. “He wanted a corner unit and patio seating.”

The restaurant is taking over the space formerly occupied by Cordera Experience, a sales office for the development on the Colorado Springs’ east side, which closed when the neighborhood began to sell out.

Bara Sushi is under construction and should be open by late August, Crowley said.

“The food entities do very well here because of the business traffic,” she said. “And, we’ve never had a sushi place. This will be quite different from anything you can get at P.F. Changs.”

Back to school — on a budget

Last week the CSBJ reported the results of the National Retail Federation’s back-to-school consumer intentions survey, which concluded that American consumers planned to spend 7.7 percent less on back-to-school items than they did during the same time frame last year.

Retailers have responded by launching their back-to-school advertising campaigns more than a month in advance of the time most kids will scramble to beat that first bell.

Consumer groups have responded as well. Consumer Credit Counseling of Greater Dallas has issued a few tips for those hoping to save on back-to-school shopping.

Take inventory of what you currently have at home and create a list of only items your children need. Stick to essentials. As the year goes on, you can always purchase items as needed.

Check resale shops and your friends’ closets. Resale shops started popping up a few months after the recession began during 2007 and have continued to grow in popularity as consumers focus on bargains. Also, swapping clothes with friends who have younger or older children can result in a fresh wardrobe at a fraction of the price.

Don’t open department store credit card accounts. Retailers will promote extra savings with the opening of a store credit card, but these cards usually come with a high interest rate, which negates the one-time 10 percent to 20 percent savings by adding interest during the life of the debt.

Research and shop online. You’ll be less likely to buy things you don’t need when shopping online, but watch out for expensive shipping charges and protect yourself by making sure the online transactions are secure.

Books on your P.C., phone

Book retailer Barnes and Noble has taken the next logical step in the electronic book market by offering titles in multiple platforms.

While top booksellers Amazon and Sony have long offered book titles in electronic form for specific reading instruments like the Kindle and the Sony Reader, the question in consumers’ minds has been, “Why do I have to buy an electronic reader when I’ve got a perfectly good computer right here?”

Well, beginning this week, Barnes and Noble will not only offer electronic books that are readable on desktop computers, but also on popular hand held devices like the iPhone, iPod touch and BlackBerry smartphone.

Through its eBookstore (www.bn.com/ebooks), the company is offering customers seamless access to more than 700,000 titles, including hundreds of new releases and bestsellers, for $9.99. The company expects that its selection will increase to more than 1 million titles within the next year, inclusive of every available eBook from every book publisher and every available eBook original.

Scott Prater covers retail for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.