Martha Graettinger, who has been a Madison resident for 12 years, decided to capitalize on the chic University of Wisconsin student body in 1999 when she opened the clothing store Bop on Gorham Street.
Now a huge online retailer found at shopbop.com, Graettinger’s only storefront is located in Madison.
Many UW students feel lucky to have the store in the area.
UW freshman Joyce Glasburg said Bop is one of the best stores around campus because it offers a better selection of the newest trends than any other store in Madison.
“I feel fortunate to have a Bop store in Madison,” Glasburg said. “I used to shop at Bop online, but it’s much more convenient to go down the street and be able to try on the items you want to buy.”
Glasburg also said she was surprised to hear that Bop’s only retail location is in Madison.
Graettinger said she and fellow partner Bob Lamey chose Madison because of the wide variety of students.
“It’s a college town with a fashion-conscious student base from East and West coasts,” Graettinger said.
She explained they have thought about opening up other store locations, but currently their focus is on their online shop, which started up in 2000. She said they will look at opening up other stores in the future.
While having the store in Madison is considered a bonus to many students on campus, the online store is also a regular shopping stop.
“I usually know what size clothes I wear, so it’s nice to just sit at my computer and shop online,” UW freshman Allie Wells said.
Wells said shopbop.com is easy to use because all the brands the store carries are listed alphabetically.
“You just click on the brand you want to look at and the items they carry are pictured,” Wells said. “You can zoom in and see up-close views of the clothes and accessories before you decide to buy them.”
Bop offers trendy brands such as Citizens of Humanity, Diesel, James Pierce, Seven for all Mankind, Miss Sixty and Cosabella. Customers can find anything from dresses to jeans or hats to handbags either online or at the store.
The website also has a special wish list customers can fill out. Family members and friends can access it later for gift ideas. There are also gift certificates available to use at the storefront or for online shopping.
“Our goal is to be on top of the trends and provide a pleasant shopping experience with the best customer service,” Graettinger said.
Although fashion lovers all around the world can access Madison’s unique shopping experience at the Bop, students make use of the hometown store, and some could even mistake Bascom Hill for the catwalk.