Photo by Fred Pollard
The Ross Dress for Less sign at Alton Square Mall.
ALTON — The culmination of a multi-year project will come to fruition this summer with the opening of the new Ross Dress for Less at Alton Square Mall.
Representatives from Alton Square worked hard with Ross Stores Inc. to bring the chain to the mall. The store needed a significant area of the lower level, taking up four spaces and necessitating the move of Maurice’s to another location within the mall.
“Negotiating the lease was more difficult,” Alton Square Mall General Manager Lori Ehlers said.
Headquartered in California, the first Ross department store opened in 1950. The format of the chain was changed to off-price retail outlets in 1982, and has since grown and expanded to more than 1,200 stores nationwide. It is currently the third-largest off-price retailer in the country, behind T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s.
Inventory will consist of apparel for men, women and children (including plus sizes), shoes, accessories, furniture, bed and bath products, kitchen accessories, pet supplies and more.
Off-priced retail outlets are able to sell items at a discounted rate by taking advantage of overruns, canceled orders and forecasting mistakes from other retailers. This includes designer specialty clothing and major brand items.
Construction on the location is expected to be completed late this month or early June, and interviews for employee positions are expected to begin in June, as well.
A grand opening celebration is tentatively set for July 17 and will include a ceremony with prizes and giveaways, a corporate representative from Ross Stores Inc. says.
Buzz in the community regarding the new store has been consistent and growing.
“I have people coming up at least five to six times a shift asking about the opening,” Marlene Davis, a customer service representative for Alton Square Mall said. “The store seems very popular.”
That excitement extends to regular mall shoppers such as Clotea Anderson and Kiya Flowers, who say they plan to check out the new location as soon as it is open.
For more information, visit www.rossstores.com.