• Andrea Lillo

Hecht's to roll out new prototype

Hecht's is looking to infuse a younger feel into its department store chain with the debut of a prototype store in Greensboro, NC, in October.

"This store will definitely appeal to a more modern customer," said Diane Daly, spokeswoman. The feeling within the store will be younger, according to Daly, and merchandise will be categorized by "attitude," she said, not vendor, which is typically how the chain sorts its merchandise.

"It's a great way to kick off in a strong market," she said. "There's a young customer there."

The prototype is already unusual for the 58-store division of May Department Stores Co., since it will be one of only a few located in a non-mall area. At 140,000 square feet, the format is mid-sized for the chain.

Besides the merchandise, the visuals, lighting, fixtures, and displays will also exude a youthful look, she said. There will also be fewer fixtures on the floor, wider aisles and centralized checkouts.

Domestics has taken on the younger attitude as well, she said, and it's been very successful so far. Though classic looks, such as Laura Ashley and Ralph Lauren, will always have a place in the mix, the store has also added contemporary looks, such as bright colors.

Domestics will also play more of a starring role in the windows in this store, she added.

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