Tra­di­tion Con­tin­ues

Stated keeps Gin­gles de­part­ment store his­tory alive

The Saline Courier - - BUSINESS - By Elisha Mor­ri­son el­[email protected]­ton­courier.com

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.

ELISHA MOR­RI­SON/THE Saline Courier

The space will pro­vide a va­ri­ety of op­tions from shoes and shirts to can­dles and Arkansas Ra­zor­backs items for chil­dren.

ELISHA MOR­RI­SON/THE Saline Courier

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.

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