New shops bring flavor, heat to International Plaza in Tampa

Three tenant moves at International Plaza illustrate how retail evolves.

Spice and Tea Exchange, a St. Augustine chain with shops in tourist hot spots in Johns Pass and Tarpon Springs, came up with its first slicked-up version for malls that opens in August.

Done up like an old apothecary, the shop grinds and blends more than 70 spice mixtures on site for everything from rib rubs to popcorn seasoning.

"We use alluring scents to create an enticing experience," said Paulette Callendar, who owns Spice Exchanges in upscale centers in Boca Raton and Sarasota.

Meanwhile, Ariel La in June steps up from a small shop in Bay Street to a store three times the size inside the mall. Featuring apparel, accessories and jewelry, Ariel La started as a kiosk.

BCBG Max Azria reopened last week after an eight-year hiatus.

The chain, which was one of the original stores in IP, returns as a hotter designer brand with a presence in upscale department stores and four other malls in the Tampa Bay market.

How hot? A BCBG Max Azria a mile away in WestShore Plaza will remain open.

Mark Albright can be reached at albright@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8252.

New shops bring flavor, heat to International Plaza in Tampa 05/25/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 12:57pm]

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