Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Pretty Please Stores Keep Hopes Up Even With Foot Traffic Down

Pretty Please General Manager Martha Mora at the Pretty Please entryway.

“Well, we’re not doing very well.”

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Martha Mora is the general manager of the Pretty Please women’s retail boutique at 961 Orange Avenue and the Lily’s at MJ Brown boutique on Orange and 10th at 1001 Orange Avenue, as well as a new store tucked into the new development near the corner of Orange and C Avenues. The store chain had signed the new lease, but because of the pandemic shutdowns it hasn’t been able to open its newest location the way they wanted. Instead, the new shop is currently sale-focused with items $20 and under — but it’s not doing much, and they’re still paying rent, Mora noted.

Pretty Please chalkboard sign
The Pretty Please boutique is ready for Valentine’s Day as well as offers shoppers a new look or a refreshed closet for their new year.

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The newer sales location marked with a chalkboard sign out front is closed two days a week. The other stores have short days as well presently, Pretty Please now 11 am to 5 pm daily. Mora said they play every day by ear.

“Business is really, really slow,” she said, explaining how with many entities closed in Coronado — from restaurants to hotels — it affects everything. “We’re such a tourist little place; without that, we have no business.”

She touched on the happy hour and lunch slouch now, and how it affects the shops as well and trickles down to staff members’ cut hours.

“Business has been affected dramatically, and we’re just hoping with things opening back up we’ll get back to that rhythm — and people traveling.”

Mora added that on the news someone had mentioned the shops in Coronado were closed, and although it was later corrected she felt that was just another hit.

Pretty Please entryway
The store provides an open door, hand sanitizing station and plenty of room as well as cleanliness and organization.

The general manager also shared that they have coupons if customers ask, and they email locals and loyal customers with specials and updates. They always have a sales rack outside, and they mark it down more when things are slow, sometimes all items are listed at $20.

Inside Pretty Please there’s a beautiful plethora of color-sorted, carefully-curated clothing with jewelry options as well as items ranging from succulents in different animal pots to birthday cards and Coronado signs.

“We have it all,” Mora said, agreeing they have clothing items to freshen up your look for online meetings as well as comfortable stay-at-home gear. “Whatever helps our locals come and shop because that’s who we depend on during these times.”

Narwhal succulent planter
The shop also offers great gift ideas or a special something to brighten your own day during the coronavirus pandemic.

Pretty Please opened about seven years ago and Lily’s two. They also have sister shops in the greater San Diego area from Del Mar and La Costa to more recently in Carlsbad.

Originally from Orange County, Mora lives in Imperial Beach and worked her way up to general manager of the three stores on the island. Her realistic business comments are tempered by her friendly, down-to-earth demeanor.

Toward the back of the Pretty Please store

Mora described how they always hope there’s that one customer who really wants to shop and comes in and splurges.

Pretty Please
961 Orange Ave., 619-437-1188
11 am – 5 pm daily

Lily’s at M.J. Brown, 1001 Orange Ave, is part of the Pretty Please Collective



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Aly Lawson
Aly has a BA in mass communication, emphasizing journalism and public relations, and a MBA in marketing. She has worked as a reporter and marketer in various industries and overseas. She also won a best community business story award from the Nevada Press Association in 2017. Originally from Washington, this is her second time living in Coronado, where her husband is stationed as a Navy helicopter pilot. They have two small children and the whole family adores Coronado. Have a story for The Coronado Times to cover? Send news tips or story ideas to: manager@coronadotimes.com
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