Bethany Clough

River Park adds new stores, makes changes

Locally owned Shabby Abby has opened in River Park, selling kids and women’s clothing.
Locally owned Shabby Abby has opened in River Park, selling kids and women’s clothing. bclough@fresnobee.com

New stores and other changes at River Park mean more places to get everything from women’s designer shoes to kids’ pajamas with ruffles on the butt.

The north Fresno shopping center has been juggling some changes lately. They include three new local businesses and the expansion of Victoria’s Secret.

But first – no, there is no new business yet for the empty World Sports Cafe. It’s getting lots of attention from potential renters, the shopping center spokeswoman assures me, but it’s not unusual for high-profile locations like this to take a while to fill. And keep in mind that it may not be another restaurant that replaces it. The center is open to a store moving into the space.

Around the corner, Victoria’s Secret has temporarily moved to the former Kwirkworld space. The original store is expanding by adding the former Eleganza corner space with the big windows. Victoria’s Secret took the opportunity to completely remodel the store, says River Park spokeswoman Tracy Kashian.

Shabby Abby

New women’s and children’s boutique Shabby Abby opened about a month ago next to Ann Taylor LOFT.

On the women’s side of things, the store carries lots of flowy white tops and clothing in light colors that have a bit of the shabby chic style – hence the store’s name.

It carries women’s sizes small through 3x.

Shabby Abby sells the popular Kut from the Kloth jeans, a premium denim brand that’s a little more on the affordable side with prices ranging from $74 to $88.

On the kids’ side, the store carries premium denim, including tiny 7 For All Mankind jeans.

The mother-kid store combo came from owner Tahnee Bussean, who has a 3-year-old and a 10-month-old and was deciding between a store for kids or adults.

“Why don’t I just do both,” she says. “As a mom it’s so much easier to go to one store and shop for myself and my kid.”

Kids sizes range from newborn to size 5.

I felt like Fresno didn’t have that many children’s clothes at affordable prices.

Tahnee Bussean, Shabby Abby

The cuteness continues with little kid flip flops, baby shoes and clothing with lots of colors and ruffles

One highlight: Story books with matching pajamas. So an “Olivia” book comes paired with pajamas with the namesake piglet in a tutu printed on them for $46.

If the mother-kid store combo sounds familiar, it might be because you’re familiar with owner’s other store, Kisch Boutique. That store, at Sommerville Drive and Perrin Avenue, is about three years old.

Pum Bum

Another mom-and-pop boutique opening in River Park is Pum Bum Society, which has been open for almost three years at Champlain Drive and Perrin Avenue as simply Pum Bum.

The store has its grand opening Tuesday, Sept. 1, and is near White House Black Market.

While Pum Bum clothing store got its start nearly three years ago with a strong emphasis on maternity clothing, it’s evolved a lot since then. The new store is 30% maternity clothing and 70% clothing that can be worn by anyone.

It carries trendy tops, classic pieces, yoga wear, jewelry and designer shoes.

“We wanted to make it different,” says owner Alma Wolverton. “Everything that’s here you’re not going to find anywhere else.”

The store walks a line between higher-end designer pieces and affordability.

We’re not Banana Republic, but we’re not H&M.

Alma Wolverton, Pum Bum Society

For example, the store carries lower-priced designer shoes, like the open-toed suede bootie by Kristin Cavallari for Chinese Laundry for $119 to $149.

New to the store are sweatshirts that read “Spiritual gangster,” a line that’s popular at Nordstrom.

The store continues to sell jewelry from the Fresno-based Make Pie Not War line. Necklaces with initials are popular, along with necklaces that feature constellations associated with each Zodiac sign. The group of stars is punched into a metal pendant.

Pum Bum’s personal shopper business continues to thrive. For a $100 minimum purchase of clothes, Wolverton visits customers homes and helps them pick out outfits. She also helps purge closets and donates the clothing for the customer.

The original Pum Bum location will stay open for now.

UTEC

Early this year River Park remodeled part of its parking garage to create small retail spaces. UTEC River Park is the first business to open there, near Planet Hair.

The local company repairs computers, phones – including cracked phone screens – tablets, video game consoles and smartwatches. UTEC also sells some refurbished items.

Broken phones can be dropped off while people shop and often fixed within 25 minutes.

The store gives discounts for students and veterans and is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. It is the third UTEC in the Valley.

Bethany Clough: 559-441-6431, @BethanyClough

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