There is a lot to see and experience at the remodeled Bealls flagship store at 6355 Manatee Ave. W., which has grand-reopening festivities this week.
For starters, there are phone chargers as well as a generous relaxation area where shoppers can sit at a table and get a snack or drink from a vending machine.
They also can play a golf video game or try their putting skills.
It’s all sort of the icing on the cake of a completely remodeled and brightened up store.
Experienced Bealls shoppers who remember the old, bumpy tile should enjoy the wider, more spacious aisles, with smooth tile floors that don’t go “clack, clack, clack,” when a cart is pushed over them.
Fitting rooms have been updated and community photos, Bealls history and community involvement are spotlighted throughout the store.
It’s all part of the company’s new “Live Life Local” tag line.
“Bradenton is where it all began for Bealls over 100 years ago, and we are very excited to unveil a new experience for our guests that celebrates living life local,” Senior Vice President Matt Beall said.
“We have completely updated the store to meet the needs of our guests while providing a more inspiring and comfortable shopping experience.”
Bealls has remodeled the Manatee Avenue store at least three times.
“This remodel is the most significant change we have made to the store in some time,” said Karen Filips, Bealls’ director of communications and community affairs.
It’s the latest evolution in the 103-year-old Bradenton-based company that has more than 530 stores in 15 states.
“The biggest change is that we have changed with our customers. Thirty-one years ago when I started, Bealls was your grandparents store. Now we can cater to the entire family better than at any other time,” Filips said.
Bealls is known for its in-house brands and Florida-style clothing, manufactured to be bright, casual and comfortable, even in the heat of the Sunshine State.
“We have a whole team that works on our in-house brands, including going to secure our own fabrics that feel soft to the touch, but are comfortable in the Florida heat. They are fabrics that keep you cooler,” Filips said.
Before starting the remodeling several months ago, Bealls staff sat down with customers to see what they liked and disliked about the store.
“Some didn’t know that the company started in Bradenton or that we offer free gift wrap every day of the year,” Filips said.
Customers shopping at Bealls on Wednesday liked what they saw.
“It’s gorgeous. Everything looks great,” Paula Borrero said.
Lauren Enger was checking out with several hangers of clothes.
“It looks nice. There sure is a lot to look at,” Enger said.
Some of the innovations in the flagship store could be introduced to other stores, depending on customer reaction.
“A lot of it becomes a test,” Filips said.
A three-day grand reopening celebration kicks off 9 a.m. Thursday with daily giveaways. The first 100 guests each day will receive a Bealls gift card valued at $10, $50 or $100.
Guests will also have a second chance to win a $250 Bealls gift card each day of the celebration event.
This week, Bealls launched a campaign through which associates and guests can make a donation at the register to assist areas hit by Hurricane Michael. Bealls Inc. will match donations dollar for dollar up to $50,000.
For more information about Bealls, visit https://www.beallsflorida.com/online/about-us.