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Shoppers flock to new Stein Mart

Carey White shops at the new Stein Mart. Carey White shops at the new Stein Mart.

Shoppers flocked to the new Stein Mart on Thursday and browsed among new lines of men's clothes and housewares in addition to women's clothing.

Store employees and Chamber of Commerce officials cut the ribbon on the new store and welcomed customers who passed under a balloon arch.
"This is our change to a full offering Stein Mart with ladies, men's, homewares, accessories and shoes," said store manager Kathy Southworth. "Our smaller store was was primarily ladies wear only so this now mirrors all of our other stores."
The Jacksonville-based department store chain now has 268 stores; along with the new Hendersonville store it opened new stores Thursday in Las Vegas and suburban Kansas City.
"We're growing into the Northeast slowly but we're very predominant in Florida, Texas, California and the Carolinas."
"We're very excited about it," Southworth said. "Fresh Market makes it a great partnership. The city has been great. The landscaping and parking lot work that the owner did has greatly enhanced the city."
Doubling the floor space from 14,000 to 29,000 square feet and adding the men's clothing and housewares required the store to add 20 employees, for a total of 45. Store hours are 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Carey White and a friend were shopping in the women's aisles but had found something White wanted from in housewares.
"We drove all the way up here from Greenville," she said. "We love Stein Mart. We love Hendersonville."
The department store moved from the north side to the south side of the Fresh Market, leaving that 14,000 square feet available for lease.
The upgrade of the Southgate Shopping Center included a repaved parking lot, improved drainage and landscaping. More new retail is on the way. The new CVS on South Main Street across Mud Creek from Southgate will open Sunday.