RETAIL ANALYST SARA NYGREN BUYS ULTIMO

Byline: Rusty Williamson

DALLAS — Ultimo, the two-unit designer retailer with stores in Chicago and Dallas, has a new owner. Sara Albrecht Nygren, a former investment analyst who specialized in retail and apparel ventures, bought Ultimo Friday from an investment group that included Joan Weinstein, Ultimo’s founder.
Weinstein, along with her late husband Jerry Weinstein, opened the first Ultimo in Chicago in 1969. She retired from the day-to-day operations of the business in 1998, but remained on the board of directors.
An Ultimo store that opened in San Francisco in 1997 closed in January when its lease was acquired by neighboring Jil Sander and Prada, which plans to expand the Jil Sander boutique near Union Square.
Nygren now is sole owner of the remaining Ultimo units, in Chicago and Dallas.
Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
“I want to focus on filling the stores with fashion-forward designer collections and continuing a longstanding tradition of being a destination shop for housing new, young talent,” said Nygren.
Nygren plans to work closely with buyer Lynne Henry to merchandise the two stores, which are known for eclectic mixes of high-end designers such as Olivier Theyskens, John Galliano, Michael Kors, Randolph Duke and Yohji Yamamoto, as well as offbeat luxe resources that often are exclusive to Ultimo.