Valdosta Daily Times

Business

May 20, 2006

Old Navy Opens, PetSmart to follow on Monday

VALDOSTA — It’s official. Old Navy is the first store to open as a result of Colonial Mall Valdosta’s $12 million expansion, and PetSmart will follow with a soft opening on Monday.

Old Navy opened its doors for two hours Wednesday evening for an invitation-only friends and family event. More than 700 people attended the preview sale, leaving high hopes for the store’s success.

The soft opening was initiated Thursday morning. Customers flooded the store, providing constant business throughout Thursday and Friday. As an incentive to shop early, the first 100 customers on Saturday and today will receive a free T-shirt.

Shelley Rehberg, marketing director for the mall, said business was booming by 10 a.m. Thursday, just an hour after its opening. Traffic was steady and the parking lot stayed full of vehicles. She and the staff at Colonial Mall are encouraged by the welcoming reception the store has received.

“We are thrilled they are open and that we have this option for Valdosta. We are looking forward to getting even more stores open,” she said.

She reported seeing many people walking through the mall with Old Navy bags — an obvious indicator that Old Navy is bringing business to the rest of the mall and in turn stimulating the economy.

Rehberg believes the store will do well in Valdosta because it offers a great selection of products and its price points match the area’s demographics. She expects more shoppers to stay in town for Old Navy’s options, instead of traveling out of town for them, and hopes many more people will be attracted to the area.

PetSmart will hold a soft opening on Monday with grand opening sales and radio remotes scheduled for June 3.

“We expect them to do very well and we are excited to have them,” Rehberg said. “I think it is another store we had a great need for in Valdosta.”

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