Selma’s downtown gets new boutique

Published 9:52 pm Saturday, September 8, 2012

 Ann Murray and Janice Bolden, employees of Selma’s new Allez-oup stand in front of some of the merchandise, located above Carter Drug Co. — Katie Wood

The next time you take a glimpse at the Carter Drug Co. neon sign, look just a little higher and you’ll see Broad Street’s newest retail resident — Allez-oup, pronounced “al-ee-oop.”

“Today’s our first day,” buyer Ann Murray said with excitement Friday. “It’s really exciting for Selma, and that’s really been our desire; to have something in Selma that other people don’t have, or just another place to shop.”

Allez-oup is a boutique that sells trendy-traditional apparel, accessories for toddlers, tweens, juniors and misses as well as gifts for the home. And although Allez-oup has their own entrance, the shop is a part of Carter Drugs.

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“What we have said is that Carter Drugs is growing up –upstairs that is,” Murray said. “We have been restoring the space up here [above Carter Drugs] for about three months, and we always thought about calling it Allez-oup because of the basketball alley-oop –because it’s way up high.”

Allez is French, meaning “to go,” Murray explained, and “oup” is sort of slang for up. “So it means to go up,” she said. “We thought it would be really fun to name it Allez-oup, but with a little different terminology.”

The shop came about after Carter Drugs began selling clothes downstairs, but realized there was no real space for a dressing room.

“We had to make the decision if we were going to not carry clothes anymore or to expand,” Murray said. “We decided to expand.”

Carter Drugs and Allez-oup will share employees and work closely together.

“The people downstairs understand our concept,” Murray said. “We really emphasize customer service and a beautiful product. That’s really important. Our packaging and our displays are important to us.”

Allez-oup held a sneak-peak Thursday and Murray said people were in and out for a couple of hours and the shop had lots of sales.

“It has been bustling,” she added.

Murray noted that her excitement over the Allez-oup’s opening comes from the beginning of a new chapter for Selma.

“A lot of people in Selma will drive to other places to shop,” she said. “We want Broad Street to be the place where people are coming. We want to make it a destination for people to come.”

Allez-oup is the second boutique to open on Broad Street in the past few months. “We’re taking over Broad Street,” Murray said.

The boutique will be open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Customers can connect with Allez-oup on Facebook at Carters Books & Gifts Facebook page. There will be a magic word every week that equates to 25 percent off a purchase at Allez-oup and will also work for a purchase off books and gifts at Carter Drug.

“Carter’s commitment has always been to serve the people of Selma,” Murray said. “My hope is that this will be for Selma and the surrounding areas – to extend the reach.”

Murray hopes that the use of social media will help with that reach.

“If [a customer] sees something online, they can charge it, and we’ll ship it,” she said.