Chapel Hill-based gourmet foods store Southern Season has announced it's expanding in Charleston with a new storefront at 139 Market St. Sister property to Mt. Pleasant's 44,000-square-foot store, this new outlet will be a much smaller space — 2,000-square-feet — and will be modeled after the chain's Taste store, which opened last year in Raleigh.
The announcement comes after what appears to be some shaky times for the brand. A two-year-old, 53,000-square-foot Southern Season in Henrico
, Va. was just closed nine days ago.
Southern Season's logo for its new Taste store
According to the Richmond-Times Dispatch
, Southern Season President Dave Herman said of that closure, "It’s a very difficult decision, but it’s been slower-than-expected growth, and the store is a bit too large and too expensive to keep open." The brand's shift to smaller Taste stores appears to be their answer to improving growth. The company has plans to open five more Tastes in Wilmington and Southern Pines, N.C., Charlottesville, Va., Savannah, Ga. and Birmingham, Ala. before Christmas this year. A total of 30 Taste stores are expected to be completed in the next three years.
Taste of Southern Season will open across the street from Belmond Charleston Place Hotel later this month.