ELLENTON -- Fans of highly sought-after handbags have a new option at the Ellenton Premium Outlets with the opening of Vera Bradley -- but only temporarily.
The popular women's accessory maker out of Fort Wayne, Ind., on Oct. 30 opened its second "pop-up" outlet store in the United States, here at the Ellenton Premium Outlets, 5461 Factory Shops Blvd. The store will remain open through May 27.
"The store at Ellenton Premium Outlets will carry an array of colorful handbags, luggage, travel items, accessories and gifts in retired Vera Bradley colors and styles," said Kate Virag, spokeswoman for Vera Bradley. "It will be a great place to stock up on gifts or to pick something up for yourself as a holiday treat."
The only other pop-up Vera Bradley store is located in New Jersey, Virag said. The company has 17 permanent outlets in the United States, including outlets in Estero and Orlando, in addition to 79 retail locations in the country.
The Ellenton store is in the Alligator Court section of the outlets where Kenneth Cole and J. Crew are located. The store is discounting merchandise 50 percent to 75 percent through Thursday. It will offer up to 75 percent everything in the store Friday through Monday, and 40 percent off the entire store Nov. 12-14.
Vera Bradley, founded in 1982 by Barbara Bradley Baekgaard and Patricia R. Miller, are known for their cotton handbags with quilted designs.
The company is in the midst of an expansion at its corporate level by growing its campus outside of Fort Wayne with a $26.6 million investment into its design and distribution centers.
The company netted $541 million in fiscal 2013. The company employs 2,800 people throughout the country, with 1,000 working full time in Indiana.
The trendy handbag maker also launched its new Disney collection in September at Disney parks in Orlando and Anaheim, Calif., and the Disney cruise ships will soon sell them.
However, you will not find those in Ellenton.
You'll either have to drive to Downtown Disney or go online at DisneyStore.com/VeraBradley.
Charles Schelle, business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow him on Twitter@ImYourChuck.