Moods of Norway has closed its Mall of America store, just a year and a half after its splashy opening. As recently as a few weeks ago, sales associates insisted the store was staying, but that 70 percent off sale dragged on just a bit too long.
Company co-founder Stefan Dahlkvist says Moods is shifting its strategy and backing off from U.S. retail to focus on wholesale operations with just one flagship store in Los Angeles. The New York store also closed. At the time Moods opened at Mall of America, in summer of 2013, there were plans to open 15 more stores across the U.S.
“We realized it just didn’t make sense. The efforts to manage stores—it’s too expensive,” Dahlkvist says.
Although the decision seems to be more about the company than the mall, it isn’t great news for Mall of America—especially with a new wing under construction that management hopes to fill with upscale stores. Fashion-forward, boutique brands have had trouble succeeding at the mall—outside the hallowed doors of Nordstrom. Perhaps the writing was on the wall from the raucous grand opening party, which didn’t take place in the actual store. There were blonde wigs for every guest and plenty of kicky cocktails at Radisson Blu Mall of America, but no sweaters, jackets or shoes to buy.
Moods is a chic, yet cheeky brand that stands for $600 pink sport coats and $70 silk ties adorned with the tractor logo. The brand had done well at Twin Cities specialty stores such as MartinPatrick 3, but it seemed lost between Gap and Columbia Sportswear at the mall.
Despite what seemed like an endless string of sales and a dearth of shoppers, Dahlkvist has no complaints about MOA. “Sales were not terrible,” he says. “Maybe we’re not the ultimate match for the mall—we’re so niche, but we did fairly well.”
Moods of Norway will continue to sell online and plans to add stores in Norway.