Bealls sales associate Priyanka Patel adjusts a necklace on a 'Get the Look' mannequin at the department store's new Marble Falls location, 1400 RR 1431. Customers can find everything on a ‘Get the Look’ mannequin in the racks immediately behind the display. It’s one of the new features shoppers will find. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton
DANIEL CLIFTON • EDITOR
MARBLE FALLS — Nancy Herrington moved easily through the clothing racks at the new Bealls department store, something that would have been harder to do at the old location across RR 1431 in Marble Falls.
“Oh, this is so nice,” she said. “So much more room and space.”
Several other shoppers who checked out the new 30,000-square-foot Bealls on its April 6 grand opening echoed Herrington’s appraisal. Even store manager Louise Beam couldn’t help but be impressed by the scope of the new store.
“It’s like night and day. There’s really no comparison,” she said. “To me, it wasn’t a relocation; it’s like a brand new store.”
The new Bealls, located at 1400 RR 1431, is more than double the square footage of the previous one across the highway and adjacent to H-E-B. The relocation means work can begin on the construction of a new H-E-B where the former Bealls stands.
But that wasn’t the focus of the customers and staff at Bealls that day. They were excited about the size, the atmosphere, and the merchandise the new store offered. As shoppers stepped through the doors, a well-lit and spacious store greeted them. With all the new space, customers could easily fan out and explore the various departments.
The shoe department, which was crammed into a small area at the previous store, spreads out across the back of the new Bealls and boasts about 8,000 pairs of shoes.
Across the aisle, Beam pointed out an expansive collection of swimwear.
“We have a full area for swimwear,” she added. “We didn’t have the space in the old store. Now, we have all this.”
One of the most requested items by customers was more plus-size options, and Bealls responded with a department catering to that need.
Nearby, Beam pointed out another common request come to fruition: more women’s intimates.
“The intimate selection and space (at the previous Bealls location) was really small. We couldn’t do much with it,” she said. “Now, it’s huge.”
The new store even makes room for an under-appreciated part of a department store: mannequins. With limited space in the previous location, Bealls staff couldn’t fully utilize mannequins to display clothing and accessories, particularly to demonstrate how different items complemented each other. At the new store, mannequins are taking their proper places in the aisles — with a new twist.
Bealls is rolling out a “Get the Look” feature. Mannequins decked out in outfits complete with accessories stand in front of racks and displays with all of those items for purchase.
“Not everyone is good at matching and accessorizing. I’m not,” Beam said. “Now, you don’t have to be. If you see this outfit on a mannequin, everything on it will be right here.”
Opening a new store comes with challenges. The big one in this case involved moving all the merchandise from the old location to the new Bealls. Beam hired two rental trucks to assist as staff began making the shift April 1.
But things just didn’t go as planned when both of the trucks broke down.
“We couldn’t stop, so we just pushed the racks across the road,” Beam said with a grin. “I’m surprised somebody didn’t see us and put us on Facebook.”
The process took several days, but once she cut the ribbon on April 6 and threw open the doors, it was well worth the effort.
“We’re all just so excited,” Beam said. “It’s like an entirely new store.”
And customers such as Herrington appreciate that.
“It’s so much better,” she said as she pulled out a blouse from one of the racks without bumping into another rack.
Bealls is celebrating its grand opening April 6-8.