Shopping as we know it is changing. More specifically, consumers are placing growing importance on the experience they can have at a typical retail store. Businesses in the retail industry are adopting out-of-the-box strategies to attract new audiences that value entertainment and interacting with brands in creative ways.
In April, we discussed the surging trend of “retailtainment” and explained how many concepts are drawing in traffic by going above and beyond the basic shopping trip. Yoga wear stores are hosting in-shop fitness classes, beauty brands are encouraging clientele to participate in the creation of their purchases, and the need for personalized attention is getting greater.
Retailtainment can also be affected by a store’s location and its surrounding amenities. A business encircled by games, other unique concepts, dining, and live entertainment has plenty of opportunities to capture constant traffic and create collaborations with other neighboring tenants. Such is the case with Stovehouse, the latest mixed-use development to join West Huntsville.
Over the last few months, Stovehouse has welcomed thousands of leisure-loving guests to indulge in delicious cuisine, live entertainment, outdoor games, special events, and much more. It has all taken place at the Stovehouse Food & Leisure Garden—the heart of the property. But now, the next phase is moving forward as developers and owners focus on the historic property’s old-world shopping district, Gaslight Alley.
What is Gaslight Alley?
Encompassing several retail spaces along a beautiful cobblestone walkway, Gaslight Alley will be home to all kinds of concepts with the hopes of attracting boutiques, soft goods, home décor, hair salons, and more. The possibilities are endless, and the district has already captured businesses—some that are scheduled to make their debut later this year. It’s all being curated by Crunkleton Commercial Real Estate and Stovehouse Properties to create optimum retail synergy while introducing concepts that the City has been asking for.
As Stovehouse’s main shopping area, Gaslight Alley—when complete—will make the development a true one-stop destination for everything from live entertainment to an in-style haircut. Plus, guests will be able to enjoy the one-of-a-kind atmosphere as they dine, shop, workout, or pamper themselves.
Aesthetically, Gaslight Alley will draw inspiration from the decorated alleys and shops of St. Augustine, Lovat Lane in London, and other similar scenes. It will be the perfect blend of antiquated features mixed with modern offerings.
All of this will be available to businesses that are on-site like Spur, Onyx Aerospace, Star Lab, Liberty Learning, the Stovehouse Properties team, and others.
Finally, Gaslight Alley businesses will also be part of the growing West Huntsville entertainment district that connects to nearby Campus 805.
What concepts are confirmed?
Anchoring the district will be the locally owned coffee shop, Charlie Foster’sthat was first announced in May of this year. Charlie Foster’s will be situated at the entrance to Gaslight Alley in a 1,850-square-foot space with a 500-square-foot outdoor patio. Classified as a multi-roaster coffee shop, this new addition to the property will serve beans from several roasters so people can experience different flavors from around the U.S. Most importantly, Charlie Foster’s plans to offer employment opportunities to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, making this coffee shop one with a mission. They plan to open in Q4 of this year.
Across from Charlie Foster’s, visitors can focus on their health at F45 Training. This functional training center will offer group classes with a one-on-one feel through high-intensity circuit training. Saturdays will be especially fun at the fitness studio because they incorporate a live DJ and add themed workouts. You can read more about F45 Training and its tentative opening date HERE.
There’s also the local Burn Collective Fit who will open its studio in a breezeway that connects to Gaslight Alley. Burn Collective offers individual and group training in cardio, sculpting, and yoga barre classes. Owner and founder Heather Murphy first opened the studio in Downtown Huntsville on Franklin Street but is very excited about relocating to the bustling Stovehouse campus. Her new studio will also include a retail section of athleisure apparel, candles, jewelry, and more.
How can I learn more about availability at Gaslight Alley?
If you are a retail concept that’s looking to join an up-and-coming shopping district, be sure to reach out to Crunkleton Commercial Real Estateto learn about availability. We’d love to hear from anyone who is looking to open their business in a high-traffic retail destination that embraces the concept of retailtainment. Call 256-536-8809 if you are interested!
Do you have ideas for what you’d like to see in Gaslight Alley? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always excited to hear what concepts people are looking for.
We will continue to update the public as more businesses are introduced to this new shopping district of the development.
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Eleven years ago, Matt McLellan moved back to Decatur, Alabama, after earning his degree from Auburn University. It was 2008 and jobs were scarce; finding an internship or an entry-level position was challenging. Rather than sit back and wait for an opportunity, Matt decided to pursue his dedication to health and fitness on another level.
“In Auburn, there was a sports nutrition store that offered all kinds of high-quality products at fair prices without having to wait for online orders,” said Matt, Owner and Founder of Absolute Nutrition. “It was my favorite local shop. Once I moved back to Decatur, I wondered if something similar would do well there. After a lot of research and surveys at nearby gyms, I decided to go for it. That’s when I founded Absolute Nutrition and opened our first store.”
A recent article on Al.com shared an exciting statistic. Huntsville is officially on track to be the largest city in Alabama within two years. This is an incredible achievement and testament to the ingenuity, entrepreneurial spirit, and supportive community that calls the Rocket City home.
With growth comes development, and progress is visible all over our city. The skyline of Downtown Huntsville is dotted with cranes, signaling more businesses on the way.