Bed Bath and Beyond moves beyond housewares

By Gus Bode

Carbondale’s latest store opens, in time for students’ return

Factoid:Bed, Bath & Beyond is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from noon to 6 p.m. Sundays

Judy McLaughin of Mount Vernon traveled more than 50 miles Saturday to shop at Carbondale’s latest store and plans on making the same trip each weekend.

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McLaughlin said she is really glad to see Bed, Bath & Beyond in Carbondale because it saves her a trip to Fairview Heights, 87 miles from Carbondale, which was previously the nearest location in Southern Illinois.

Store Manager Richard Hammons said that he believes the store will fit in nicely with the community.

“I think we’ll do very well in the community,” Hammons said. “It’s just a matter of time to see where we’ll be.”

Bed, Bath & Beyond, located on the site of the old Montgomery Ward on the northeast corner of University Mall, opened its doors Tuesday, Aug. 12.

Debra Tindall, general manager of the mall, said the new store will provide a broad set of merchandise for the home, a genre of merchandise that customers could not purchase outside of Famous Barr and J.C. Penney.

“This is really a wonderful enhancement to the community,” Tindall said.

The store, which spans 22,500 square feet, opened its doors in enough time for this year’s student rush. It brings a new home fashion product line of merchandise to the mall that may have been underrepresented before.

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“Obviously, we’re a niche market. I think we’re going to fill in a lot of gaps,” Hammons said.

He said that in the past week the store has been opened he has seen a cross-section of the whole community come into the store as customers.

“We are very comparable to everybody and anybody,” Hammons said. “We have values throughout the whole store.”

Andrea Behrends, a junior in photography from Crystal Lake, said she came shopping at Bed, Bath & Beyond because the store just opened.

“What they’ve got going for them is it is a little bit more stylish than Wal-Mart,” Behrends said.

While the household merchandise may be more stylish, Behrends said she also had to pass up items at the store because she knew she could get it for cheaper across the street at Wal-Mart. She said other students will probably do the same for the more economical items.

Bed, Bath & Beyond is represented coast to coast with more than 470 stores nationwide and is typically metropolitan-based. The new store is a result of the re-development of the mall that came 18 months ago with the opportunity to bring Old Navy, Gap and Gap Kids into the shopping destination. The mall has brought six new stores, including the movie theater, into the mall this year.

“We are elevating the offering of national tenants to consumers in this market place,” Tindall said.

Jackie Keane can be reached at [email protected]

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