I’ve got news of some exciting moves on the retail front (Rittenhousers, you might want to prepare yourselves. This isn’t going to be pretty). Hello World—the beloved Rittenhouse gift shop—and its sister store Hello Home—the home goods boutique at 10th and Pine—are closing their respective locations and combining into one mega lifestyle store in University City.
I spoke with owner J. Lamancuso, who told me the University City location (which will be called Hello World) will be located at 3610 Sansom Street, right between Urban Outfitters and POD. As well as a Sansom Street entrance, shoppers will also be able to enter through the Penn Bookstore. A late-September opening is planned.
"It's going to be the best of both stores, more of a lifestyle store," Lamancuso says. This means you can expect handbag and jewelry lines from 20th Street alongside a full offering of Chilewich tabletop and flooring and goods from Umbra, all spread out over 2,000 square feet. The shop will also feature a MoMA retail section, and act as a gift shop of sorts for the Institute of Contemporary Art.
But I'm most excited for Lamancuso's new private-label line of custom upholstery and chairs (six sofas and six chairs), which will debut at the store. The line's name, aptly, is Hello Home.
But what about Hello World's dedicated customers in Rittenhouse? Isn't he at all worried that they won't make the trek? "I'm so concerned," he admitted. "One loyal customer called me today when she found out and screamed at me."
Hello World will go into, as Lamancuso puts it, "full-blown sale mode" on August 1st, and they'll vacate the space on August 31st. Meanwhile—and this news makes me shake with glee as I type it—Pine Street's Hello Home will become 20th Century Vintage on August 1st. Still owned by Lamancuso, the store will be packed to the brim with midcentury pieces. The store officially opens August 1st, and it'll be open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Oh, and remember Industry, Lamancuso other store? He sold that to his store manager. After all, you can only have so many irons in the fire.
Center City folks who dread the trek to the new location needn't totally despair: Lamancuso recently began selling his wares on Shoptiques.com, an online marketplace that curates goods from all over the world. Find Hello World and Hello Home here.