There's more: five grand openings in the last 10 days alone, in fact. Reebok International's first company-owned store opened Friday on Newbury Street. The week before saw openings by the Parade of Shoes store on Washington Street, the Orvis clothing and fishing store on State Street, the Bang & Olufsen hi-fi store and the Museum Replica Gallery, both on Newbury Street.
Of course, big companies like Brooks Brothers, Orvis and Rand McNally will always open stores, even in hard times. The real risk-takers are the entrepreneurs. They may be crazy, but recession notwithstanding, they too are popping up like weeds. "I saw a store like this in Stockholm three years ago," says Mark Russell, coowner of the Bang & Olufsen store, "and I thought it was an incredible concept. I called a friend at Bang & Olufsen and said, when you want to do that in the United States, call me."
Carrying an elite product desirable to affluent customers -- the sort strolling lower Newbury Street -- is one way to beat the recession. But Rose Garden founder Sandy Lawrence has the opposite approach. "If you have the right product, people have enough disposable income to purchase the right product," she says. "I think flowers in a time of recession are an affordable luxury. Who doesn't have $10 to spend on flowers to brighten one's office or give to a friend?"