The Columbus Dispatch
American Girl fans might want to clear their calendar on June 22. Officials of the company announced yesterday that that will be opening day for its first Ohio store, at Easton Town Center.
“We’re anticipating, if this is like other opening weekends, we’ll probably see about 10,000 people over Saturday and Sunday,” said spokeswoman Stephanie Spanos.
American Girl announced in September that it planned to bring one of its destination doll-and-accessories stores to Columbus. That announcement was a linchpin in Easton’s plan to develop a new shopping district, Fenlon Square, that will cater to children and families.
To mark the grand-opening weekend, Easton “will have strolling entertainment, activity stations and photo opportunities, as well,” said spokesman Brock Schmaltz.
Other Fenlon Square tenants will mark the occasion, but details have yet to be announced, he said.
The crowds will be large, but people won’t be bored as they stand in line, Spanos said.
“These are families with small children, so we’ve refined the grand-opening process,” she said. “ If you have to wait to get in, you’ll be entertained while you’re there. We’ll have craft activities; we’ll show movies. This will be our 15th store, so we’ve got it down to a science.”
The 11,500-square-foot American Girl store will offer historical and contemporary dolls, along with doll outfits, accessories, girls’ clothing and American Girl books. In addition, the store will contain a 24-seat bistro, a doll hair salon and a “Creativi-Tees” boutique that will allow visitors to design doll-size T-shirts.
American Girl dates to 1986, when its dolls were sold through catalogs. The 18-inch “My American Girl” doll came out in 1995. American Girl has been a Mattel subsidiary since 1998.
The dolls, which represent a variety of ethnicities and time periods, have developed an enthusiastic following, with fans making pilgrimages to the handful of company-run stores.
American Girl is taking applications to fill the store’s 110 staff positions, Spanos said, which include sales clerks, restaurant workers and doll hair-salon jobs. Applicants can stop by American Girl’s temporary space across from Macy’s from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today or visit http://corporate.mattel.com/careers/work/columbus.aspx.
Download “American Girl store at Easton scheduled for June 22 opening” The Columbus Dispatch, April 20, 2013.