“Well, we’re not doing very well.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Mora described how they always hope there’s that one customer who really wants to shop and comes in and splurges.
961 Orange Ave., 619-437-1188
11 am – 5 pm daily