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The Nordic Shop Will Soon Expand in the Rochester’s Downtown Galleria At University Square Mall

ROCHESTER — The sound of sledge hammers will soon ring out in the Galleria At University Square Mall as a long-time downtown Rochester store —The Nordic Shop — expands its footprint.

The Nordic Shop, founded by Walter and Louise Hanson in 1974, evolved during the worst of the pandemic and now the shop needs more room for its online ordering business as well as customers who shop in the second floor store in the mall at 111 South Broadway.

The plan is for construction to start soon in the next door spot that was last occupied by Healing Touch Spa. That 600-square-foot space will become the Nordic Shop’s backroom office plus changing rooms. The 450-square-foot space now used as a tiny office, storage area and shipping room will become part of the store’s display floor.

The hope is to remain open through most of the transition. The Hansons expect to close the store for a couple days in the final build-up to the goal of opening the expanded store on Aug. 15.

“Our entire staff is excited with the new configuration and is excited to show our customers some of the new brands that we will be adding and expanding with the extra space,” said Walter Hanson.

The Nordic Shop sells imported Scandinavian goods, like clothing, jewelry, dinnerware and collectibles. Among other things, he said the additional display space will allow them to add the Norwegian clothing brand Amundsen Sports. Founded by a descendant of renowned Polar explorer Roald Amundsen, the line focuses on active outdoor clothing for women and men with a focus on cold weather gear.

Walter explained that this expansion is the next step in the store’s journey that started during the pandemic. While the Nordic Shop always offered mail-order sales, the team ramped up their website in 2020 and sales skyrocketed up by 200% over the previous year.

The online sales site now operates as a separate venture as does the Nordic Shop’s wholesale business.

“The way we look at things is that we have three divisions — the web, the wholesale business and the Nordic Shop. It gives us a little bit more to stand on. Having three legs as opposed to two makes us stronger,” explained Hanson.

The store expansion will provide more room for the online business to grow as well as better position the Nordic Shop for future changes at the Galleria Mall and as their customer base continues to change.

The Hansons, who work alongside their team, have nine employees on staff. That number could grow next year, they added.

Source : Post Bulletin

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