Clothing store, Dollar Tree fill Big Lots spot

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Two large chains plan to open new stores in the space once occupied by Big Lots in London. One primarily sells clothing; the other sells everything for a dollar.

Peebles, a division of Stage Stores, and Dollar Tree will split the space, which is located on Lafayette Street in the same shopping center as Kroger. Peebles will occupy 17,000 square feet. Dollar Tree will occupy 9,200 square feet.

According to Harvey Tesler, vice president of construction for Chase Properties, which owns the space, Peebles will start interior work on its store in mid-February. Dollar Tree will begin outfitting its space in March.

Peebles is scheduled to open to the public on May 1. An opening date for Dollar Tree could not be confirmed.

Peebles

The London store will be Stage Stores’ 22nd Peebles location in Ohio. The closest one is in Washington Court House. The newest one, located in Mount Vernon, will open in March.

Stage Stores specializes in bringing nationally recognized brand name apparel, accessories, cosmetics and footwear for the entire family to small and mid-size towns.

“It’s been a great formula for us, as well as for the communities we are in,” said Kim Bell, marketing manager for Stage Stores. “We serve communities that are under-served by fashion and retail. Basically, we are your alternative to Walmart.”

The company operates under the Bealls, Palais Royal and Stage names in the South Central states, and under the Peebles name in the New England, Mid-Atlantic, Southeastern and Midwestern states. Stage Stores, with corporate headquarters in Texas, operates nearly 700 stores in 35 states.

A sampling of the brands Peebles carries appears on its Web site, www.peebles.com. The selection includes Adidas, Elizabeth Arden, Carter’s, Docker’s, Keds, Tommy Hilfiger, Izod, Lee, Levi’s, Mudd, Nike, Reebok, Sag Harbor, Van Heusen, Wrangler and more.

“We have a mix of classics and trends to appeal to a broad spectrum of tastes,” said Bell, who describes Peebles stores as warm, inviting and “huge on customer service.”

Peebles stores similar in size to the one slated for London typically employ 11 people, she added.

Dollar Tree

Headquartered in Chesapeake, Va., Dollar Tree Stores Inc. operates over 3,000 stores across the United States. The first store was opened in Dalton, Ga., in 1986. The closest stores to Madison County are located on the west side of Columbus in Consumer Square West and Westpointe Plaza.

According to the company‘s Web site, www.dollartree.com, the store’s concept is simple—everything in the store is priced at $1. The stock features gift bags, party supplies, housewares, seasonal décor, candy, food, toys, health and beauty care supplies, gifts, stationery, books and a variety of consumer items.

Building and Zoning Status

Last week, London’s building inspector, Vince Benedetti, reported that he had received drawings from Chase Properties outlining the division of space for the two stores. He also received drawings from Dollar Tree’s architect. The city had not received drawings from Peebles.

London’s plan examiner has issued a phased plan approval to Chase Properties. A full approval will be granted after Chase addresses electrical issues, Benedetti said.

Chase’s plan divides the 29,875 square-foot property into three spaces. Two are for Peebles and Dollar Tree. The third space, 3,600 square feet at the back of the building, is designated as “residual space.”

Tesler of Chase Properties said the residual space will be used for “landlord storage” and could be available to Peebles or Dollar Tree for expansion.

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