Bethany Clough

New Fashion Fair stores sell candy, superhero novelties, jewelry

BoxLunch, a gift and novelty store owned by the same company that runs Hot Topic, is scheduled to open its Fashion Fair store in Fresno on Wednesday, June 8. The store sells merchandise featuring comic book superheroes, Star Wars, Doctor Who and other characters.
BoxLunch, a gift and novelty store owned by the same company that runs Hot Topic, is scheduled to open its Fashion Fair store in Fresno on Wednesday, June 8. The store sells merchandise featuring comic book superheroes, Star Wars, Doctor Who and other characters. Special to The Bee

Fashion Fair mall has a slew of new stores, including a couple that are quite different for the Fresno mall.

The one that will probably attract the most interest is BoxLunch, set to open Wednesday, June 8. BoxLunch is across from Victoria’s Secret and the store is owned by the same company that runs Hot Topic and Torrid plus-size clothing.

No, it’s not a lunch cafe, says Brandi Hammons, the company’s manager of brand marketing.

“It’s as if Hot Topic and Urban Outfitters had a baby,” she says.

A very civic-minded baby.

That’s because the gift and novelty shop donates a meal to a person for every $10 spent. The donation goes to Feeding America, an American nonprofit working with food banks to end hunger.

BoxLunch sells a Captain America waffle maker.

This baby is really into pop culture, too, selling all kinds of licensed merchandise, including Star Wars, Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Batman, Captain America and more.

About 75 percent of the store features these licensed items. They’re on T-shirts, mugs, sippy cups, jewelry and more. There is even a Captain America waffle maker with the comic book hero’s shield on the lid.

Though little kids will find things to play with here, the store isn’t really geared to them. Instead, it focuses on adults who have aged out of Hot Topic merchandise. So that Harley Quinn (a comic book superhero who is both bubbly and psychotic) T-shirt is going to have a “more forgiving fit” and higher quality.

BoxLunch also carries “mini me” clothing, meaning matching T-shirts for adults and kids that have, say, the same Star Wars image on them. The store also sells Funko Pops, the little figurines of comic book heroes with big exaggerated – yet cute – heads.

We have stores opening all over the country.

Brandi Hammons, BoxLunch

The store’s name stems from executives who were in Japan when they dreamed up the new store concept with the charitable theme. They were eating from a bento box, a single-portion takeout box that holds a meal.

“BoxLunch spawned from a bento box in a cab overseas somewhere,” Hammons says of store.

The company has 16 BoxLunch stores nationwide.

Sweets 4 Treats

A candy store moved into the center aisle of Fashion Fair toward the eastern end of the mall about a month ago. The bulk candy in bins includes gummy everything – bears, giant rattlesnakes, even spiders and German grapefruit gummies. The most popular is the coconut macaroon candies and chamoy gummy bears – candies inspired by the flavor in Mexican cuisine featuring chili powder.

There’s also more traditional candies, including chocolates.

It costs $12.96 per pound or $3.24 for a quarter pound.

The cashiers give away samples of candy and tell customers to “Have a sweet day.”

Kevin Jewelers

Kevin Jewelers has opened near Starbucks.

It’s one of several jewelers in the mall, with competitor Kay Jewelers directly across from it.

Workers say what sets it apart is its financing options (36 months with zero interest) and the Rolex watches and other jewelry for men.

The location used to house Rogers Jewelry, and a few of the previous employees stayed on.

Who is Kevin?

He’s the owner. He has more than 30 stores, mostly in Southern California.

More changes

A few other changes have happened in the mall recently, including the opening of Green Crush. It’s a smoothie and juice bar that often tops its drinks with fresh fruit.

Also, Torrid and Bath & Body Works stores are back open in their original locations as remodeling at both has finished.

Bethany Clough: 559-441-6431, @BethanyClough

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