There’s something you should know about Old City’s newest boutique, Erdon: Time flies here.
The store opened a couple of months ago and is the second location where Donna Sandoz stocks Acne, Maison Martin Margiela MM6, Closed and Maison Kitsune. (Her flagship store is in Marlton, NJ.) With a storefront at 162 N. 3rd St., Sandoz finds herself in good retail company with Geisha House, Third Street Habit and Mode Moderne just across the street.
“I like the sense of community here in Old City,” Sandoz said. “I feel like we’re part of a very good mix of stores here.”
The Erdon aesthetic is a little bit borrowed-from-the-boys with surprisingly airy, feminine pieces mixed in. The store has a menswear feel with white walls, metal rolling racks, dark wood shelves and gray stone countertop. It’s clean and a little cool, but totally inviting.
Shoppers will find that Sandoz, who works the counter with her children, is herself very inviting. Having been in business for 22 years, she’s from the old retail school where building personal relationships with customers is paramount, and so Sandoz is really approachable.
Have a question? She’ll answer it. Excited for an upcoming event? She’ll smile and laugh with you. Need to vent after a long day? She’ll empathize. Aggravated that your skinny best friend thinks nothing looks good on you? She’ll set up an appointment for just the two of you. A trip to Erdon is the closest thing to “retail therapy” you’ve ever experienced.
Sandoz has developed such strong relationships with her clients that when she goes on buying trips, she can usually think of 10 women who would love whatever she’s looking at. Sandoz said opening the Old City location was a no brainer since much of the clientele she’s cultivated already lives in the area. “The largest draw has always been from the city,” she said. “I think I would have preferred to be in a city from the beginning.”
Sandoz’s customers now range in age from 20 to 70, and Erdon’s selection has a little something for everyone. Every piece on her racks is her favorite piece, from the layering t-shirt from Minden Chan to the hoodie dress by Maison Martin Margiela, from the silky denim skirt by Closed to the Acne boots on her shelves. She loves the line of bags produced by WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie, two twin brothers who originally designed for men.
Speaking of men, Sandoz says she’s had several men come into the new store in the first weeks on N. 3rd St. asking if she sold menswear. She has sold menswear at her Marlton location, so it’s something she’s considering for Old City. That’s not the only change she’s already considering. Original layout plans for the store incorporated two dressing rooms but her contractors only built one. “That’s something we’re fixing very soon,” she said.
Sandoz said she’s also think of expanding the Old City space to include the basement.
Her focus on supremely personal service and an accessible gallery atmosphere will not change. And neither will her excitement for beautiful clothing and accessories.
Designers have been happy to have their stuff sold at Erdon, Sandoz said, because she is loyal to designers and because they like the company they keep at Erdon. “We’re very dedicated to brands and like to show their stuff as a collection, rather than presenting just a few pieces,” she said.