GREENVILLE — Starting this week, Greenville just got a little more fashionable.
Cato Fashions, 1491 Wagner Avenue, stationed in the shopping complex next to the soon-to-open Rapid Fired Pizza and Buffalo Wild Wings, held a grand-opening ceremony Thursday morning.
Present for the ribbon cutting as its doors opened for business were Molly Hawes, store manager, Erica Cheeseman, assistant manager, and Kim Jezioro, district manager. The shop will employ eight people.
Founded in 1946 by Wayland Henry Cato, the company operates more than 1,300 stores in 32 states under the names Cato, Cato Plus, It’s Fashion, It’s Fashion Metro and Versona. The company’s headquarters is in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Jezioro said Cato’s mission is to offer “womens specialty clothing at everyday low prices.” The shop features jewelry, shoes and accessories in addition to women’s attire.
Asked why Cato decided to open up in the Treaty City, Jezioro said the company believed Greenville would be an optimal location.
“We have a real estate department that scopes out the areas, and a lot of people were asking for one here,” she said. “We have one in Eaton, one in Celina, and one in Sidney, so this fills a gap in the region.”
Cato offers a wide selection of sizes in women’s clothing, she explained.
“We have small sizes now, as small as ‘twos’ — that’s something new for us, going that small — to women’s sizes up to 26, 28. The plus sizes are a good draw,” she said.
As well, Cato offers online shopping options in addition to the items on hand in the store.
“If they’re shopping, we can look up their size if we don’t have it, and we can actually ship to the store for free,” she said. “Ordering from home, an online order is $6.95 to ship, so some people order online and then have it shipped to store where it’s free.”
Jezioro said that, in addition to Greenville, Cato was opening another store in Chillicothe, Ohio, that same day.
Hawes, the store’s manager, brings to the Greenville location more than 11 years of experience working for Cato.
“This is big, like when I got married,” she said, laughing. “I’m glad to be here, and I’m looking forward to meeting all the great ladies who are here in Greenville.”
Hawes pointed to Cato’s variety, and constantly rotating stock, as selling points for customers.
“You can be as casual as you want, you can be as dressy as you want. We’re very good at showing you how to mix them. And we hit all ages. You can be 15 or 75. We cover everything,” she said.
As part of its grand opening, Cato is having a promotion in which the first 250 customers who spend at least $35 will get a free Cato tote bag to take home.
Cato’s store hours in Greenville are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. The company’s website is www.catofashions.com.