Mar 26, 2007
Blue Tulip Creating Niche for RichBy Joan

A new kind of gift store is sprouting up across North Jersey, and it’s changing the competitive landscape for local merchants.

Blue Tulip is a five-year-old chain that wants to be the ultimate gift-giving and special-occasions destination for time-strapped working women and stroller moms.

The “gift solutions” concept has been tried by an online retailer – RedEnvelope Inc. – but Blue Tulip is the first company to attempt to build a national chain of bricks-and-mortar stores that is going after the same customers as neighborhood gift stores.

The company, based in Burlington County, has seven stores in New Jersey — including shops in Closter and Englewood. An eighth store will open next month in Chester, and Blue Tulip plans to open at least two more New Jersey shops in 2008.

Blue Tulip has 18 stores in six states on the East Coast, and the company believes the $280 billion gift-giving market is large enough to support as many as 500 Blue Tulip stores nationwide. And, the chain’s founders say, North Jersey’s affluent suburban downtown areas are the perfect places to plant Blue Tulips.

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