Mall at UTC

Capital Teas, Tricho Salon new at the Mall at University Town Center, Five Below expresses interest

MANATEE -- The Mall at University Town Center recently added three stores and discount chain Five Below has expressed interest in occupying space in the mall as well.

In addition to the discount store, a tea shop, a salon and a men's store have all indicated they are opening in the mall.

Capital Teas is an independent fine tea and tea accessories retailer based in Annapolis, Md.

According to the company's website, Capital Teas carries "over 200 premium, organic and natural teas and infusions, including some of our own unique blends" and will open in June in the Banana Moon store, according to CEO of Capital Teas Peter Martino.

Though six stores have vacated the Mall at UTC since it opened in October 2014, Martino said the closures do not concern him.

"The fact that there are a handful of retailers leaving UTC doesn't diminish the strength of the mall," Martino said.

Capital Teas is used to competing with Teavana, a specialty tea shop already in the Mall at UTC. Teavana is to Froot Loops what Capital Tea is to Kashi cereal, Martino said.

"We feel we offer additional consumer choice in the tea segment," Martino said.

Lori Barton, store manager at Banana Moon, said she was unaware Banana Moon is closing. Octavio Ortiz, manager of the Mall at UTC, was unable to confirm that Capital Teas is moving into Banana Moon.

Tricho Salon will provide color and texture services, makeup, facials, chemical peels, manicures and pedicures, micro exfoliation, spray tan and massage packages to Mall at UTC customers. Representatives for Tricho could not be immediately reached for comment.

Refinery, an upscale men's

accessories store announced in February it will move into The Mall at University Town Center in early March. Refinery sells unusual and quirky gifts for men including flavored tooth picks and beard balm. Representatives for Refinery could not be immediately reached for comment.

Five Below, a discount store offering cell phone cases, remote control cars, yoga pants and other trendy items for $5 or under applied for a permit with Sarasota County on March 14 for a spot in the Mall at UTC. According to the Five Below website, the store has more than 430 locations in 27 states.

Janelle O'Dea, business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow her on Twitter @jayohday.

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