Stated keeps Gingles department store history alive
With the opening of Stated Apparel’s new retail location in the old Gingles building in Downtown Benton, the owners will be carrying on the building’s long tradition of being a unique department store that draws people into the area.
Stated Outfitters will take up most of the space and shoppers can enter it off of South Street.
Stated Gifts will be a smaller portion and shoppers can enter from Market Street. The two sides of the business will be connected so shoppers can visit both in one stop.
The new store is located at 145 W. South St. in Downtown Benton. It is scheduled to be open for business Thursday with a grand opening from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday.
“I always pictured our business would end up in a downtown,” said co-owner Chris Jordan. “Downtown Benton is as cute as it gets.”
He compared the look of Downtown Benton to a small town that would appear in movies.
Jordan co-owns Stated Apparel with Adam Barnes, who is also the designer for the clothing.
“It is a cool feeling to make a product and see someone wearing the shirt,” Barnes said.
Before the pair decided to move into the Gingles building, they said their business had been primarily whole sale, which will continue to be a major portion of their business. They sell their products in 44 different states and some locations around Saline County.
Jordan said they started out as a hobby, making funny Arkansas shirts and selling them at a kiosk in different malls in 2010. Some would be specific to different areas.
“We like to make funny Arkansas shirts,” Jordan said.
While they have had retail spaces in the past, Jordan said this space will be taking the company in a new direction. It has a total of 8,000 square feet. Plus, they still have 3,500 square feet of their previous location for their mobile store and storage.
While making the transition, Stated has kept its doors open for custom orders so customers can stop by and pick up their items. Jordan said custom prints are their second biggest business.
Jordan said they were reluctant to get into retail but decided to go for it when Gingles became available.
“I wanted something to build a legacy,” Jordan said.
He added that Gingles has been a department store since the 1800s.
With the Outfitter side of the store, the products will lean more toward outdoor clothing and accessories.
Stated has four of its own brands, including Lake Bum and Stated Outfitters, which will be the house brand.
Barnes and Jordan said they love to work with both local brands and brands that give back to the community. Local brands include Nativ and Fayettechill, which he called very much Arkansas brands.
Some of the brands that give back include Borderline, which provided 900 meals in Saline County because Stated bought the brand. Another is Cause, which gives 25 percent to causes.
“Any chance we get we focus on a brand that is making a difference in some way,” Jordan said.
He hopes to be known as a place to get cool, local brands.
Barnes and Jordan said Stated also likes to give back by working with schools and offering discounts to schools. They also facilitate fundraisers on their website.
Stated donated signs for the city of Benton’s recent Third Thursday event.
Stated is the place where shoppers can find local school attire and other items. Currently, they have items for Benton, Bryant, Bauxite, Harmony Grove and some Glen Rose. As the store grows, they plan to add more.
Barnes said Stated offers fresh looks with new designs for its school items.
They expect people to find items to buy from all tiers of price point from low-priced to higherpriced premium quality items. Because they make many of their products it eliminates the middle man allowing them to sell premium items at more affordable prices.
The Stated Gifts section has shirts with funny sayings, bags, cutting boards, candles, mugs, water bottles and more, plus, customers can either bring in or purchase items to have customized.
During the grand opening celebration Saturday, the city will be shutting down the street. Stated will have bounce houses, a fire truck, free snow cones and popcorn. There will be giveaways each hour, including kayaks and shopping sprees.
Travis Wood, World Series champion southpaw, will be manning the gill serving hot dogs. Benton Mayor Tom Farmer is scheduled to attend as well.
Discounts will be available in store.
Stated Outfitters and Stated Gifts will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. It can be reached at 501794-6363.
The company is online at www.stated.me.
The space will provide a variety of options from shoes and shirts to candles and Arkansas Razorbacks items for children.
Stated Apparel’s new location, Stated Outfitters, will include its own Stated Outfitters brand along with many local brands and brands known for giving back.