A couple of stores have hopped over to Traver Village from Plymouth Road Mall. Both insist that the move has nothing to do with the Plymouth Mall Plaza now going up in the parking lot in front of the Way 1 Supermarket, although Anne Bridges, marketing director of Frames Unlimited, says that their move was in part because Plymouth Mall has a lot of vacancies. (She’s neutral on the Plaza–on one hand, it’s hiding some businesses that could previously be seen from Plymouth, but on the other, it will probably bring in more traffic.)
Traver, she believes, is the more well-traveled mall; mainly, she says, Frames jumped at the chance to be next to Kroger. “We’re a destination store, but the more eyes that happen to see us the better. That’s true of any business. Our Clarkston store is next door to a Kroger, and we do well there.” Bridges was speaking from her office in Grand Rapids, the headquarters of the sixteen-store Michigan chain.
She emphasizes that she doesn’t want to sound stuffy or old-fashioned, but “the lion’s share of our customer base is women. It’s just a fact that our customers are the ones who are feathering the nest,” and they tend to be women and grocery shoppers.
Frames Unlimited, 2631 Plymouth Rd., 327-9000. Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun noon-5 p.m. framesunlimited.com
Frames Unlimited is moving into what used to be Tortoise and Hare Running & Fitness Center, which hopped a few doors down the block last July. “It’s a smaller space. We’re next to Crown House, which cut its space in half,” says Matt Holappa, co-owner, along with his mom, Karen Holappa, who founded the store more than twenty-five years ago.
Tortoise and Hare, 2621 Plymouth Rd., 623-9640. Mon-Fri. 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. noon-5 p.m. tortoiseandhare.com
In the case of Domino’s, the move from the Nixon Road side of Plymouth Mall to the highly visible end cap of Traver Village fronting on Plymouth Road was part of a “re-imaging” project. It’s one of the first sixty-five Domino’s outlets to add seating and an open kitchen where you can watch your pizza being made.
The redesign is part of a transformation wrought by CEO Patrick Doyle, who took over the languishing brand in 2009. “When I started working here five years ago, it was just pizza and breadsticks,” recalls Luke Page, who manages the store for franchisee Dave Cesarini. In a rare display of corporate candor, Doyle publicly repudiated the chain’s mediocre pizza, re-jiggered the recipe, and added pasta bowls, hot sandwiches, artisanal pizzas, and a few desserts to the menu.
Though this outlet makes no note of it, of all 5,700 Domino’s in the world it’s the one closest to the chain’s world headquarters–which may explain its relatively early adoption of the new look. Despite all the menu tinkering, Page notes, as at most pizza places, pepperoni and plain cheese pizza still are the hands-down favorites. Domino’s also has profitable contracts with many area schools, which buy pies and sell them to students by the slice.
This outlet will also soon be selling slices–just cheese and pepperoni–another change Doyle wrought.
Domino’s, 2601 Plymouth Rd., 663-3333. Mon.-Wed. 10 a.m.-3 a.m., Thurs.-Sat. 10 a.m.-4 a.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-2 a.m. dominos.com