Munster resident Linda Brady was impressed with the wide selection of clothes and home decor when she visited a Gordmans store in Valparaiso.
She was excited to learn the Omaha, Neb.-based retailer -- one of the fastest-growing in the country with 95 stores in 20 states -- would be much closer to home, in the new $112 million Shops on Main shopping center at Indianapolis Boulevard and Main Street in Schererville. Brady was one of the first customers to browse the brightly decorated aisles when it opened Thursday morning.
"They have a little bit of everything," she said. "It's really nice that we're getting these new stores and don't have to drive all the way out to Merrillville, Illinois or Valparaiso."
Last week, designer shoe store DSW opened an 18,361-square-foot store in the 207,328-square-foot shopping center, which has been years in the making. The home furnishings store HomeGoods opens on Sunday, a 25,069-square-foot Ross Dress for Less is opening soon, and a Pier 1 Imports is under construction.
Future tenants include OshKosh, Carter's, Meatheads, YoAmazing, Back to Bed, Firehouse Subs, Noodles & Co. and the long-anticipated Whole Foods Market.
With 50,079 square feet of apparel, home decor and accessories, Gordmans is the largest store in Shops on Main, which was first conceived as a lifestyle center in 2007, delayed because of the economic nosedive, and resurrected three years ago with a new slate of tenants. The discount store, which features a children's theater and a sports-themed television viewing area, is Gordmans' eighth in Indiana and second in Northwest Indiana.
"We are excited to expand in Indiana with our newest store in Schererville," said president and CEO Jeff Gordman. "Our mission is to delight guests with big savings, big selection and fun, friendly associates."
Gary resident Emma Wise had been to a Gordmans while visiting her grandchildren in Lafayette and was glad to get the chance to shop at one again. Minutes after the store opened, she found some bright blue decorative seashells and a beach fence-style candle-holder that she said would be perfect for her bathroom.
"It's closer to shop here than to get down on U.S. 30," she said. "And the traffic's not as bad with the new stoplight."
Joe and Sharon Zic also were browsing in the home decor section shortly after the store opened. They recently moved from Orland Park to St. John to take advantage of the lower taxes, and needed to decorate their new home. They liked the selection and variety at the store, and are looking forward to more shopping options at Shops on Main, especially the Whole Foods.
"It's nice to have these stores nearby, but not so close that you're dealing with the traffic," she said.