Susie Busch-Transou to open retail store in Ladue
LADUE, Mo. — A household name is bringing a new “lifestyle” retail store to the St. Louis area this fall.
Hearth & Soul is a retail concept from Susie Busch-Transou, daughter of former Anheuser-Busch Chairman August Busch III.
The 4,200 square foot store, currently under construction at 9640 Clayton Road in Ladue, is set up like a home, with furniture, clothing and artwork for sale in addition to a selection of gifts and books. The rooms reflect the areas of a home: kitchen, family room, dining room, bar, library, bed and bath, women’s and men’s closets, patio and pet area.
Busch-Transou calls the concept “hotel retail”.
“Hearth & Soul is a gathering place that’s basically reminiscent of a home,” she said. “We have a curated collection of special finds in each of these areas, and community engagement and events are built into who we are. I think because it’s a family setting, it’s a place where people like to come for gatherings. And it also gives relevance to the products found there, because you can see them in their respective places of life and at home.
In addition to offering global and local homeware and apparel brands, Hearth & Soul will open as an event space for nonprofit gatherings, book clubs and special occasion celebrations. , said Busch-Transou.
Hearth & Soul will also offer interior design services and a wedding registry. Busch-Transou said the new store has hired eight full-time equivalent employees and does not use a commission system for its unique retail method.
Busch-Transou spent nine years in various leadership roles at Anheuser-Busch, including its subsidiaries Busch Entertainment and Busch Creative Services. In 1996, she and her husband, Tripp Transou, moved to Tallahassee, Florida to purchase and operate Tri-Eagle Sales, a distributor of Anheuser-Busch InBev brands, as well as specialty beverages and spirits.
A discussion of “what feeds your soul” at a friend’s 50th birthday party led Busch-Transou to explore the retail concept.
It opened the first Hearth & Soul in Tallahassee in 2015, adding an Austin location in 2018. Both of those locations are in leased space, and the Ladue store is the retailer’s first location.
Busch-Transou is Hearth & Soul’s sole investor, but two of its top division directors are now profit-sharing partners, she said.
The Ladue location is expected to open the week of September 12, pushed back from an original August target date. A grand opening is scheduled for September 14. St. Peters-based Duggan Contracting is supervising construction, and Ladue’s Mainline Group Architecture Inc. is the project architect.
Busch-Transou said she searched for retail space in St. Louis for about six years, but never found an existing building that matched her vision. When the buildings at 9636 and 9640 Clayton Road became available, she purchased it in October 2021, demolishing both structures and retaining the 9640 Clayton Road address for the new store.
She said she paid more than $1 million in total for the two properties, which were previously owned by the manager of 9640 Clayton Road LLC and trustee Nine Investments. In total, Busch-Transou said Hearth & Soul has invested more than $4 million “in the community” here.
Approximately 3,600 square feet of the Ladue store is retail space, and it is built on one and a half floors to allow offices to be located upstairs. It also has on-site storage space for soft goods, and the store has off-site storage for surplus merchandise. Hearth & Soul isn’t a showroom, since customers can buy anything they see and take it home, but Busch-Transou said the store will work with customers who want to order something. slightly different from what is shown.
She said Hearth & Soul’s top sales category was men’s and women’s clothing, followed by kitchenware and barware, then furniture.
Read the rest of the story on the St. Louis Business Journal website.
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