Goody’s opens store at Vicksburg Mall

Published 11:49 am Friday, April 8, 2011

More selections and eye-catching sales were the prevailing thoughts among the frenzied first shoppers at the new Goody’s store at Vicksburg Mall Thursday.

“It’s really good,” said Samantha Rogers, checking out ladies’ wallets and other accessories minutes after the store opened.

The mall’s most significant store opening since Dillard’s in 1999 meant a return for shoppers like Rogers, who said she is impressed with the redeveloped shopping center and movie theater.

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“I tried to come to the mall before, but it’s a lot better now,” Rogers said. “A lot more stuff, and you can call and get movie times.”

Goody’s is part of the Stage Stores family of midsize apparel retailers. The Vicksburg location is the company’s first in Mississippi since Houston-based Stage purchased the brand in 2009. More than 110 stores are set to open in 2011, adding to a list of 26 locations Stage reopened in 2010 nationwide. As of fiscal 2010, Stage owned 21 stores in Mississippi under its own banner and its Peebles brand name.

The first 150 customers received tote bags bearing a flowery print of the store logo while many more registered to win a $250 shopping spree from the store, to be staffed by 10 sales associates and described by mall developer Andy Weiner as “a great, well-organized, structured store.”

“We’re really excited to be here,” store manager Kimberly McGaheran said as a ribbon was cut and the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce presented the store with a plaque. “Come on over and shop.”

Weiner Development purchased the former Pemberton Square mall and the vacant former Kroger supermarket in October. Goody’s is the first new anchor store in the mall, returning to the same location previous Goody’s-branded stores operated from 1994 to 1997 and from 2000 to 2002. Sweet Babies, a cupcake shop that will host parties, also opened Thursday and a gourmet popcorn outlet, Pemberton Popcorn, is in the works, Weiner has said.

About 17,700 square feet of room inside the old Kroger is being prepared for two new stores expected to open by midsummer, apparel outlet Citi Trends and Petsense, a pet supply retailer.