Ashley Stewart store opens in Hampton
Ashley Stewart, a plussize fashion retailer, celebrated its store opening in Hampton’s Peninsula Town Center on Friday.
The Hampton store is the second Ashley Stewart location to open since the New Jersey-based company exited Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2014.
“We know our customer is here,” said President and Chief Merchant Officer Kristen Gaskins.
The Ashley Stewart brand is popular among black women, who shop there because of the retailer’s on-trend, affordable styles. The 27-year-old company operates 90 other U.S. stores.
CEO James Rhee helped turn the company around by cultivating Ashley Stewart as a lifestyle brand. The company is advocating for and celebrating women, getting more involved with local communities and boosting its online presence and e-commerce business, according to his Harvard Business Review article. The store offers multigenerational apparel and accessories for work, church or nights out.
The Hampton store also provides customers with a social experience, including offering karaoke.
Regular and longtime shopper Alyta Mack stopped by Friday on her lunch break.
“As a plus-size woman, it’s really had to find trendy clothes,” said Mack, who works in Hampton and lives in Chesapeake. “I’ll be here on the regular.”
Ashley Stewart also has stores in Military Circle in Norfolk and Victory Crossing in Portsmouth.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday. Call the Hampton store at 757-8383073.
Kroger opens in Suffolk
Kroger Mid-Atlantic opened in Suffolk at 1401 N. Main St. this past week — the fourth former Farm Fresh store that Kroger opened.
The 57,000 square-foot Suffolk store employs 114 workers, including parttimers — 47 of them hired from Farm Fresh, according to a news release. Kroger invested $3.7 million in the Suffolk store and is investing more than $30 million to renovate former Farm Fresh stores.
“For our residents who live downtown and in our central corridor, the new store is a welcome anchor at Suffolk Shopping Center," Suffolk Mayor Linda T. Johnson said.
The store will offer the grocer’s new Scan, Bag, Go technology that enables shoppers to scan their own groceries. The store also offers ClickList, soon to be called Pickup, the grocer’s online ordering service.
Ashley Stewart, a plus-size fashion retailer, opened its store at 2561 McMenamin St. in Hampton’s Peninsula Town Center. It’s the second location to open since 2014.