August 29, 2002
One red door closed, and four new ones opened last week as Talbots closed their location at 728 S. Washington St. and opened their new store at 601 N. Washington St.
Managers and sales associates closed the old store at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 23, and reported for duty at the new store the following morning.
On the last day at the old store, Brucy Blankenship, who has been a sales associate with Talbots for two years, said that she had mixed emotions. Talbots has been a big part of her family. Blankenship’s daughter, Angie, worked at the store while she was in high school and then continued working at the Talbots in Richmond after she moved there. Blankenship’s youngest daughter works at the Talbots in Fair Oaks.
Both Marty Crawford and Janet Tucker have worked at Talbots for six years. Crawford said, “I think it’s exciting. We’ll have more clothes and better service.”
Bridget Garback, associate manager for women’s wear, started working for Talbots 14 years ago, four years after the store opened. She has been working there longer than any of the other staff.
HUNDREDS OF SHOPPERS joined the staff for an 11 a.m. ribbon-cutting and grand-opening drawing. Jean Holland, territorial managing director, welcomed guests and presided over the prize-drawing and ribbon-cutting.
The lucky winners of the two $250 Talbots gift certificates drawn that day were Sharon J. Swan and Margaret Martin. Another certificate was awarded to Mary Jane Haas on Sunday.
Given the way people were buying, one would think that they were having one of their infamous sales, but actually everything was full-price. It seems that women were just excited about the new store and the much wider selection. There is now a much larger petites section, and there is a large selection of women’s sizes 12W-24W and women’s petite sizes 12WP-24WP.
Garback said, “This is actually the best time to shop, because we have all the sizes in stock right now.”
Deborah Hewson was thrilled that the new store includes a women’s section. “I’ve had to go to other locations or shop from the catalog,” she said.
Hewson and some other members of the Emmanuel Church on the Hill all came for opening day. Norma Taliaferro said that the store would be more accessible for her now. Suzanne Lamb said that she liked the different departments.
Ellen Volz was there with her mother, Terry Butler from Dallas.
“What’s not to like?” asked Volz. She was excited that her mother, who’s hard to fit, found something to wear. She actually ended up buying four things.
“I think it will be fun for the ladies,” said Volz, referring to the employees of Talbots.
Old customers seemed to like the new space, and there were many customers who had never shopped at the original store but were drawn to the new location.
Talbots & Talbots Petites is now located at 601 N. Washington St. Store hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Sunday, noon-5 p.m. Validated parking is available in one of the three garages located underneath the building. Some metered on-street parking is also available.