Ross Dress for Less opened a new big-box store in a long-vacant Kmart space in south Hammond Saturday, 15 years after the home of the Blue Light Special skipped town.
The Dublin, California-based store opened its second Hammond store at 7927 Indianapolis Blvd., just south of the Indianapolis Boulevard interchange of the Borman Expressway. It joined dd's Discounts, Aldi and Planet Fitness in the Gateway Promenade shopping center.
"The city is very happy to see new retail open in Hammond, especially when big-named chains are closing down across the county," Hammond Economic Development Director Anne Anderson said. "Ross and dd’s Discounts are following a trend of retail moving to a smaller footprint, to follow current trends and meet its bottom line. They, like so much retail these days, are taking these vacant big-box spaces, which sat empty for years, and are dividing them up for a variety of shopping options. Smaller footprints mean less overhead, less glut of stock and a streamlined shopping experience. Online retail has changed the way the public shops, but we still want a good experience when we do head out to the brick-and-mortar stores, and the city of Hammond is pleased to offer many options now for its residents."
The fast-growing Ross Dress for Less opened 19 new stores across the country over the weekend, including in Hammond, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Ohio, Texas, Nevada, Tennessee and Louisiana.
Ross Dress for Less also has local stores in Schererville, Hobart, Calumet City and in the Marina District shopping center on Hammond's far north side, by the Chicago border.
The discount department store specializes in women's, men's and kids' clothes. Ross Dress for Less also carries home decor, shoes, beauty products, toys, pet supplies, luggage and other sundries.
It's helping revive the former Interstate Plaza shopping center that had been home to Kmart for 33 years at a time when the long-troubled retailer shuttered 300 stores nationwide. The outdoor shopping center fell into foreclosure, getting tied up in litigation that stalled several redevelopment plans, including to build a 12-screen movie theater and a Burlington Coat Factory there.
It had long been considered a prime spot given its proximity to Cabela's, a Super Walmart and one of the busiest stretches of interstate highway in the Midwest.
Ross Dress for Less's new Hammond store will be open between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m.
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