Fourth Moleskine U.S. store to open at University Park's Mall at University Town Center

Location would be 4th in U.S. for Italian company

cschelle@bradenton.comJune 13, 2014 

Italian-based Moleskine is expected to open its fourth store in the United States when it comes to the Mall at University Town Center. The Mall at UTC is set to open Oct. 16. PHOTO PROVIDED

UNIVERSITY PARK -- The Mall at University Town Center will have something to write home about with its latest store.

Milan-based stationery and creative company Moleskine has filed plans to build a company store within the upscale, two-level Mall at UTC on the corner of Cattlemen Road and University Parkway.

The company, started in 1997 by Francesco Franceschi, is known for reproducing notebooks in the style used by Vincent Van Gogh and Ernest Hemingway, who would use pocket-sized, nameless black notebooks.

An equity firm, now called Syntegra Capital, acquired a majority share of the brand in 2006 and developed the brand to launch as Moleskine in 2007.

The company, which also maintains a U.S.-based headquarters in New York, also has a digital presence with apps, widgets and digital creative tools and may be best known for its Evernote productivity app, allowing writers to take notes and sync information among multiple devices.

The Bradenton-Sarasota area will have a regional exclusive on Moleskine as it appears to be the only Moleskine company store announced for the Southeast United States.

Its only U.S. stores opened last year with two locations in New York and one in Short Hills, N.J. The company plans additional freestanding stores around the world this year.

A Moleskine spokeswoman declined to provide details about the store and was unable to confirm other future store locations.

When the Italian company opened its American stores, the company added special features with the store design featuring an open platform, an experience table to test products and a temporary art exhibition by students at its SoHo store. The American stores also carried custom gift cards for the Moleskine Photo Books, which are a customized photo album that can be printed on demand online.

Moleskine products are typically carried at Staples, Barnes & Noble and area booksellers, and its company stores are mainly found in European airports and train stations.

Moleskine adds to an international line-up at the 880,000-square-foot mall including Tumi, H&M, Calypso St. Barth and Godiva.

The mall, set to open Oct. 16, will feature anchors Apple, Crate & Barrel, Dillard's, Macy's, Saks Fifth Avenue and more than 100 stores and restaurants.

Charles Schelle, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow him on Twitter @ImYourChuck.`

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