Amid colorful characters and bright lights, a year and a half long project to bring Old Navy to Pyramid Mall in Ithaca was realized yesterday with the opening of the Old Navy store on Route 13.
“Old Navy is really excited to be part of the Ithaca community,” said Joe Enos, company spokesperson in an earlier press release.
During the day, 2,500 shoppers visited the store, drawn by friends and word of mouth or the large, orange Old Navy signs throughout the mall. A few noticed the store mascot, the dog “Magic,” greeting customers around the Pyramid Court area.
Many shoppers had been eagerly waiting for Old Navy to open for months.
“We’ve needed something like this … It is going to be so much easier to shop for the grandchildren with all the sizes and colors,” said Ithaca resident Kay DelRosso.
But regardless of how visitors found out about the event, all were welcomed by the same site. Shoppers were given a T-shirt club card at the front door that allowed them to buy any six t-shirts and receive the seventh free.
The decor of the store is playful. The windows are decorated with cheerful neon signs and the interior is full of fun ornaments. One of these is a rocket by the front door called “Rockin’ Rocket” where one can listen to the Old Navy soundtrack, ” Old Navy Soul.” Another whimsical touch is a large, red gum ball dispenser full of small toys.
The merchandise includes an array of clothing and accessories for men, women, children and babies. There are dish towels and fleece vests, toy cars and corduroys, all of which have the classic Old Navy look and the low prices.
Customers were pleased with the organization of the selection. “I like how they display the clothes. This is a section for pajamas and I can find all of them here. I don’t have to go anywhere else,” said Ithaca visitor Nancy Landro.
Old Navy hired 150 employees and spent three days before the opening tabulating inventory and stocking merchandise, said Erin Eastman, marketing assistant at Pyramid Mall.
Other preparations for the move to Ithaca have taken much more time.
“We actively sought them out,” said James W. Tull, Pyramid Company of Ithaca general manager , in reference to the Mall’s year and a half long recruitment of the Old Navy store.
The public expressed an interest in shopping at Old Navy in customer surveys distributed once a year by the mall. Pyramid responded to this public demand, but also had reasons within the company to vouch for the Old Navy move to Ithaca, according to Tull.
The Pyramid Mall Company has been pleased with the Old Navy stores at its many venues in the upstate New York area. “From our experience with our other malls we knew that they would have a good impact on business,” said Tull.
Old Navy planned to open its Pyramid branch last summer in a smaller 15,000 square foot space, but opted to extend the deadline and expand the store space to 22,000 square feet, Tull said.
“This store is larger than the other regional Old Navys built a year ago,” Tull remarked.
Old Navy is one of many chains to enter the Pyramid Mall complex. According to Tull, they are now trying finalize plans for the addition of a Home Depot, which is expected to open in the complex this spring.
The new OId Navy is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Archived article by Lizzie Andrews