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Old 10-15-2012, 07:42 PM
 
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Latest additions help stabilize shopping center Two new stores at Macon Mall are close to opening. Work on a new facade for one of the anchor stores is under way. New escalators are being installed. The reincarnation of the nearly 40-year-old enclosed retail mall is taking shape. Already this year, Smok’n Pig -- a Valdosta-based barbecue restaurant -- opened, Shoe Dept. Encore nearly doubled its space and Subway opened in the food court. Also, not only is the mall owner installing a new exterior facade on the J.C. Penney store, Penney has put a lot of money into sprucing up its interior and expects to have a grand reopening about the first of November. And Office Depot, which is relocating from its current spot on Pio Nono Avenue to about 18,000 square feet in the former Linens ‘n Things building, is expected to open in December. This week, the final construction work was being done at the mall’s newest additions: B. Turner’s and Dry Falls Outfitters. A dual grand opening for the stores are scheduled for Friday and Saturday. The stores offer a range of outdoor, work and casual clothes. They are owned by the Turner family, a Georgia-based multigenerational retail company that has been in business since 1936. The stores will operate separately and target slightly different markets. Bud Turner and his sister, Meredith DePalma, who co-own the new stores, also own the Sock Shoppe in a shopping center across Mercer University Drive from the mall. That store closed Friday and while some similar merchandise will be found at B. Turner’s, the larger 24,000-square-foot store will carry more moderate brands and will include Carhartt, Columbia and Guy Harvey. “We really want to focus on quality with the best prices we can,” Turner said. “What we are trying to do is introduce a new audience to our products. Not just the products we’ve always had but new products.” The store will carry casual apparel and shoes for men, women, juniors and children. A large section of the store is devoted to Carhartt merchandise and the company’s representatives refer to it as a Carhartt “super store” within B. Turner’s, Turner said. Carhartt is known for its rugged, durable workwear and casualwear. “We’re kind of hitting the young, collegiate crowd, a work crowd and a casual crowd,” he said. The ladies department focuses on “work, play, relax,” DePalma said. The bargains will not be hidden in a back corner of the store. They will be displayed in the center isle. “This is what we’re known for,” Turner said. “This is when we find deals that nobody else finds ... and people are just astonished at the prices.” The Dry Falls Outfitters store caters to a very different customer. The merchandise there also is focused on casual outdoor apparel, but at a higher price point with brands such as North Face, Patagonia, Arcteryx and Columbia. In addition to clothes, it will carry backpacks, outdoor stoves, sleeping bags, hiking boots and shoes. “This is not a discount store,” Turner said. “It’s a completely different store ... for outdoors and tailgaters. There is nothing like this in Macon right now.” The company hired a general manager, Rodney McCord, for both stores. McCord is a Mercer University graduate and a former mayor of Griffin. Turner said he has worked with mall co-owner John Gibson for about three years at other locations and is impressed with the investment that has been put into the Macon Mall. “They have a vision for this mall and we got so excited we wanted to be part of it,” he said. “We are investing a lot of inventory because we think it’s going to work.” New Macon Mall stores prepare to open | Business | Macon.com
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