New stores keeping shoppers happy

Published 11:00 pm Saturday, November 19, 2011

New retail outlets in North Suffolk, such as Dick’s Sporting Goods, are expected to draw more people to the area for Black Friday shopping.

With the addition of several new stores in 2011, holiday shoppers have more reasons this year to stop by North Suffolk to check gifts off of their lists.

This will be the first holiday season for several stores, including T.J. Maxx, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Rue 21 and PetSmart, and the new stores have filled out the Harbour View East shopping center and offered new lures for customers.

Renee Winfield, who lives in the College Square neighborhood across the street from Harbour View East, said she is glad to see the new stores.

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“I like it because we didn’t have anything here before,” she said. “I can walk here if I want to.”

Winfield said she is especially happy to see the addition of T.J. Maxx, and she hopes to get a good portion of her holiday shopping completed at the convenient spot.

Upeda Morton also often visits the Harbour View East shopping center because it is so convenient for her.

“Since I’m right down the street from here, I come here because it’s local,” she said.

But it isn’t just Suffolk residents who are visiting the area’s shopping.

Portsmouth residents John Pace and his wife, Stephanie Savage, also visit North Suffolk to get shopping done.

They said they usually make a stop at Harbour View East at least once a week, whether it’s for clothes for themselves or food for their pets.

“My wife gets all of our pet food from PetSmart, and I like looking in T.J. Maxx,” Pace said.

“It’s very convenient,” Savage added.

However, both husband and wife said, they would be happy to see even more offerings in North Suffolk.

Savage said she thinks a bookstore, like Barnes & Noble, would be a welcomed additional in the area.

“I would like to see something like a Trader Joe’s or a Fresh Market,” Pace said. “I think it would draw (people) from a larger area.”

Like Pace and Savage, Lynn Errington, a Suffolk resident, said she thinks North Suffolk could still bring in new places, especially restaurants.

“I’d like to see a Bonefish Grill or a Cheesecake Factory,” she said.

Flo Colden, who lives in Portsmouth and works at T.J. Maxx, said she thinks North Suffolk’s convenience draws in people from all over.

Colden said she previously worked at a Chesapeake Square store, and the Harbour View East store seems to be a bigger draw than her last store.

“We get a lot of business,” she said. “We get more business than we did in Chesapeake Square.”

Colden said she thinks the area could use a dollar store to offer a convenient and cheap option for shoppers.

Additionally, Dick’s Sporting Goods, another new addition, has attracted shoppers from all over the region because it is only the third Dick’s location in Hampton Roads — the next closest being in Newport News.

Chesapeake resident Jeff Wright said the addition of Dick’s increased his shopping trips to North Suffolk.

“We needed a good sporting store in the area,” he said.

Wright said he thinks the North Suffolk stores will ease the stress of holiday shopping because they are so close to his home.

“It’ll make it easier,” he said.

Coming from the other direction than Wright, western Suffolk resident Brian Reese said the more stores that pop up in North Suffolk, the more he is spending time in the area.

He said he likes the offerings that are in the northern part of the city.

“It’s nice overall,” Reese said. “It keeps me coming up here.”