Business

This high-end store left Village at Meridian for Downtown Boise

Robert Comstock has been known since the mid-1970s for his signature line of leather jackets. A selection of his current jackets is on display at his new Downtown Boise store.
Robert Comstock has been known since the mid-1970s for his signature line of leather jackets. A selection of his current jackets is on display at his new Downtown Boise store. jsowell@idahostatesman.com

Award-winning leather designer Robert Comstock has moved his upscale fashion store from The Village at Meridian to Downtown Boise.

“We have a lot of clients who live Downtown and who didn’t want to drive to Meridian,” stylist Trenna Matkins said. “Robert loves Downtown, and we’re glad to be here.”

The move contrasts with the decision by at least three stores, owned by two companies, to move out of Downtown Boise and to The Village at Meridian. Boutique retailers Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters, both owned by Urban Outfitters Inc., and Lululemon have moved to the suburban shopping center in the past few years.

It’s a reversal of sorts for Comstock, too. He opened a Downtown Boise store in 2002 at 405 S. Eighth St., in the Eighth Street Marketplace. The store later closed. He opened his Meridian store in December 2014 as a discount outlet for overstock. A few months later, the shop transitioned to a high-end men’s store.

The new store, at 765 W. Idaho St., opened on Friday, Jan. 19, in a storefront that formerly housed Heirloom Dance Studio.

It is a block and a half from the Ninth and Idaho building where Comstock’s father, Ralph J. Comstock Jr., worked. Ralph Comstock, who died in 1995, was president of First Security Bank of Idaho from 1965 to 1983. First Security merged with Wells Fargo in 2000.

Ralph Comstock loaned his son $40,000 in 1976 to get him started as a designer of leather jackets. They sell at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and other high-end stores. His annual overstock sales were popular in Boise in the 1980s and ‘90s. Some customers camped overnight to take advantage of the discount prices.

The Downtown Boise store features both men’s and women’s fashions. Some of the jackets are limited editions with tags denoting how many were produced.

It is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

This story has been corrected. An earlier version said Loft, the women’s apparel retail chain, had left Downtown Boise for the Village at Meridian. Loft has stores in both locations.

John Sowell: 208-377-6423, @JohnWSowell

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