In the past few years, I have been to the Walmart in Sartell at least once a week. I'm always popping in and out of the store. As of late, my schedule has filled up and this Monday I finally got around to grocery shopping for the first time in the better part of a month.

As I checked out and made my way to the exit, I had to double then triple take to make sure I wasn't hallucinating. There is a full Claire's store open inside the Sartell Walmart.

As I stood there looking in, I asked a nearby employee how long the store had been there. They said about two weeks, which made me feel better. I was worried this had been part of the store for a long time and I had just been oblivious.

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For those unfamiliar with the franchise, Claire's is a retailer of accessories, jewelry, and toys primarily aimed toward tween and teen girls, and is usually found in mall settings.

Abbey Minke
Abbey Minke
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Lately, there seems to be a trend in traditional "mall brands" moving outside of the malls. Other brands making the shift are Ulta Beauty who has a partnership with Target, and Sephora is opening its first round of stores inside Kohl’s stores. The trend is being referred to as "co-branding".

According to Dayton.com, about 1/3 of Claire’s stores in North America were outside of shopping malls as of July 31, 2021. With a majority of their stores still being in mall settings, it makes sense to set up shop in new places that have guaranteed foot traffic, like a Walmart.

I only wish they had done this when I was a kid. I loved Claire's, and if I could have shopped there while my mom got groceries I would've been one (glitter-covered) happy camper.

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