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Goody's may return in March

POSTED: January 4, 2010 8:28 p.m.

Goody’s department store is set to reopen as the anchor of the Fort Howard Square shopping center during March, about a year after shutting its doors.

Goody’s originally replaced Kroger in the shopping center at the Fort Howard Road and Highway 21 intersection in Rincon after renovations by the development firm Blanchard and Calhoun Commercial in 2007.

The retailer filed for bankruptcy in June 2008 and emerged four months later after cutting operating costs and closing underperforming stores. But the sagging economy coupled with consumer cut backs forced the Goody’s to liquidate its remaining stores.

Stage Stores purchased the Goody’s nameplate in August 2009 and is repackaging it in a similar manner as its other stores, such as Peebles and Bealls. Stage Stores owns more than 745 retail stores in 39 states selling moderately priced name brand clothes for families.
After looking at the Goody’s customer markets, Stage Stores determined that the name had a loyal following and was more recognizable than some of their other stores according to Kim Bell, media relations representative for Stage Stores.

But don’t expect the same Goody’s from before. Bell said that while they may carry some of the same brands as before, they are a different retailer.

Goody’s merchandise will include fragrances and home items but will consist mostly of a variety of brands and styles of apparel, footwear and accessories.

“The majority of the difference will be in brand and quality,” said Bell.

In addition to proprietor brands, Goody’s will carry Nike, Reebok, Carter’s, Union Bay and Baxter & Wells among others.

Bell said it’s hard to tell but based on the store’s size she estimates the new Goody’s will employ around 10 to 15 people. When Goody’s opened originally, it employed 75 people.

At openings, Bell said that they usually give away free gifts, such as expandable tote bags and 15 percent off shopping passes to the first 150 customers.

“We have a lot of fun with our grand openings,” Bell said. 

Rhodes Seeger of Blanchard and Calhoun Commercial said he expects the store to perform better with Stage Stores because he thinks Goody’s will operate better under its wing.

Having the store reopen could mean more customers for the Fort Howard Square shopping center. Seeger said that the other stores at the shopping center seemed to do well without Goody’s and amidst the recession.

Zac Wyman, a manager at Hibbett Sports in the Fort Howard Square, said they were unaware of the reopening, but that business had been about the same since Goody’s closed.

“Black Friday was not as productive, “ Wyman said. “But at Christmas, we did better than last year.”

This speaks highly to the convenience of the Fort Howard Square location and reopening Goody’s could contribute to the growth of the entire community.

“I think it’s going to be great for Rincon because families will have another place to buy clothes and won’t have to go all the way to Savannah to shop,” Seeger said.

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