Superior business stretches Beyond the Barn
Call it a mall-to-mall export.
A new store that opened Saturday, Sept. 8, in Duluth's Miller Hill Mall has roots in Superior. Beyond the Barn, which specializes in the whole gamut of Western-style apparel, is an offshoot of Diamond Royal Tack, a 13-year tenant of Superior's Mariner Mall, now known as the Mariner Retail and Business Center.
Owners Steve and Janeil Crist have built a solid base in Superior, making Diamond Royal Tack a destination store for horse lovers, farm life fans and Western-wear enthusiasts. Beyond the Barn offers a new atmosphere and a closer site for Minnesota customers.
"We do have a lot of people that come down from the Range and they always wished that we had something up here," store manager Amanda Crist said.
The move also allows customers the option to purchase cowboy boots and Western apparel in Minnesota, which has no clothing tax.
The second store is much smaller — about 770 square feet compared to Diamond Royal Tack's 4,500 square feet — and it has a different focus.
"Superior is more of the ranch functional workwear and horse equipment and Duluth is definitely more the fun Western wear," Crist said.
Beyond the Barn will stock brands like Corral and Dan Post and carry items focused on all farm animals — not just horses — as well as an expanded line of dog merchandise, including Espana Silk, all-natural grooming products that work equally well on dogs, horses and people.
"I had some people from hair salons who were coming down and buying it," Crist said.
The new store brings with it expanded hours. Beyond the Barn is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
"We're open seven days a week here, so it adds an extra day that people can get the items they need," Crist said, and the business is willing to bring any items from Superior to Duluth for pick up. Both stores are seeking part-time help, as well.
Instead of calling the new store Diamond Royal Tack, the owners went with what Crist called a cuter, catchier name.
"Because it is different, so we wanted to stress that," she said. "We thought it kind of incorporated all the things we wanted to carry up here."
Since opening the shop, the manager has had a lot of curious people walk in.
"Cowboy boots aren't something they're used to seeing in Duluth," she said.
Janet Fawcett, marketing director for the mall, called it a success story for both Duluth and Superior.
"The store is filling a niche that we previously did not have," Fawcett said of Beyond the Barn.
Crist said she's enjoyed the busy mall atmosphere, and seeing how items sell differently at the two stores. Casual items sell well in Duluth, while Superior customers come in knowing exactly what they want.
The Mariner Mall has given Diamond Royal Tack space to grow and build a solid customer base.
"There is no reason to leave Superior," Crist said.
The expansion to the Miller Hill Mall is a chance to test the waters, she said, and tap into Duluth's walk-in traffic.
"I had people who came in this morning and said they never knew we were in the Superior mall because they don't come in just to shop," Crist said. "Up here we're gaining that exposure for both stores."
Beyond the Barn is located next to Bath & Beyond. Visit www.diamondroyaltack.com or the Diamond Royal Tack Facebook page for more information.
The Miller Hill Mall welcomed another new tenant last week. The national franchise Great Steak moved into the old Charley's location in the food court, offering items including cheesesteaks, grilled sandwiches, salads and loaded baked potatoes. It opened Sept. 7.
"It is very exciting to see how we can continue to grow and evolve to meet the needs of our community," Fawcett said.