The new Bealls Outlet department store officially opened this week with special promotions. The official dates of the grand opening were Friday, Aug. 6 and Saturday, Aug. 7.
The new 32,118 square foot store replaces a 18,144 square foot site and is located in Beall's Plaza, 1209 N. Homestead Road in Lehigh. The new store takes over the former Bealls Department Store.
"We had overgrown our location there," said Ken Apple, regional director in the corporate office of Bradenton.
New Bealls Outlet: Diane Heller, the manager of the new Bealls Outlet on Homestead Rd. in Lehigh Acres, stands in front of the new store which officially opened this week. Photo by Mel Toadvine
Promotions will include a $5 Gift Card Giveaway to the first 300 shoppers each day on Friday and Saturday, a drawing for a $100 Shopping Spree, and a weekend coupon will be part of the celebration. Bealls Outlet is part of a fast growing chain with more than 446 stores across the Sunbelt.
"The new Bealls Outlet is one of the nicest stores and also the newest Bealls Outlet in the state of Florida," Apple said. He was in Lehigh just prior to the grand opening to make sure things were running smoothly.
"The management and employees here have done an outstanding job in getting things ready," he said.
He noted that Bealls Outlets are different than Bealls department stores. Although owned by the same company, Bealls Inc., each is a separate corporation of its own, Apple said.
Merchandise in Bealls Outlets is all new and is not merchandise from Bealls department stores, he said.
"We have our own separate buyers for Bealls Outlets," he said. Our plans are to build much larger Bealls Outlets as is the case in Lehigh," he said.
The larger store will introduce new departments and assortments that include a full Family Footwear Department, expanded Home selection which includes Domestics and greater breadth and depth in all Apparel categories.
The new store has been rebuilt inside and contains all new equipment and display racks. Apple said everything is new in the store.
It is airy and easy to get through and already is attracting a large shopping crowd during the week it had a soft opening.
Apple said the new Lehigh store is one of the largest now in the state.
He went on to say that there are some 50 Bealls Outlets now in Southwest Florida.
Diane Heller is general manager of the new Bealls Outlet. She said there are some 25 full-time employees, all from Lehigh working in the store. Seasonal events bring in additional part-time employees she said.
Apple said that the old store next door will become a Save A Lot grocery market.
Heller said she was excited with many new lines of merchandise in the store.
"I think the people are going to enjoy shopping here," she said. "We're all very excited and we have heard good things from our shoppers."
The store carries clothing and accessories and gift items for the entire family, Apple noted.
Mary Beth Allen, who handles publicity and advertising for Bealls, said the corporate firm is happy to be in Lehigh.
"We expect this store to be one of the most successful ones in all of Florida," Allen said.
Also spending time at the new store last week was Kathy Figueroa, the district manager of 11 stores in Southwest Florida.
"It's a wonderful group of employees and they have really done a great job helping to put it all together. Lehigh is a great location for our company," Figueroa said.