Women’s clothing retailer opening store


A woman sifts through a clothing rack at a Lee & Birch store. Photo via fb.com

A local women’s clothing retailer is expanding into a Grand Rapids suburb.

Lee & Birch said yesterday it will open a location in Rockford, at 39 Courtland St., in March.

The business has two other stores, one at 759 Wealthy St. SE in Grand Rapids and one in Grand Haven at 128 Washington Ave.

“We love the small-town feel Rockford offers and the sense of community,” said Nikki Gillette, founder, Lee & Birch. “It is an awesome downtown setting with a great flow of businesses. We felt Lee & Birch would complement the other local businesses and also fill in some gaps.

“This storefront puts us in a great spot at a corner with lots of foot traffic. We feel that this space will draw customers in with the beautiful bay windows that we will fill with mannequins.”

The retailer features a variety of brands, such as Paige Denim, AG Jeans, Bella Dahl, Weston and Nakamol.

“We intend to keep the same product lines and items in our Rockford store that we currently carry in our Grand Rapids and Grand Haven locations,” Gillette said. “We've found that our balance and mix of products works really well, and there is something for everyone, so we plan to share those same products with Rockford as well.”

The Rockford store includes a 1,300-square-foot first floor with retail and a second story with 1,300 square feet for a photo studio and events.

Lee & Birch has hired a manager for the store and expects to hire five to six more stylists for the location.

Lee & Birch is leasing the former logging company space — most recently a furniture store  — through the building’s landlord, VanderWerp Properties. 

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