LINCOLN, Maine — The clothing was being unpacked and racked. The walls were finished, the dressing rooms installed, the parking lot painted with fresh lines, and Judy Piurowski, director of stores for Peter Harris Clothes and Label Shopper of Albany, N.Y., was smiling.
“Things are right on schedule,” she said Thursday.
Label Shopper will open on West Broadway on Monday, Piurowski said, thus becoming the Katahdin and Lincoln Lakes regions’ sole stand-alone, full-service clothing store.
A chain of 21 stores in New Hampshire, upstate New York and Vermont, Label Shopper carries bargain, name-brand juniors, men’s, women’s, plus-size and fashion clothing, and sells some shoes, according to its Web site, labelshopper.com. It has stores in Dover-Foxcroft, Jay, Oxford and Skowhegan. A 5,000-square-foot portion of the building that once housed a Chevrolet auto dealership in Lincoln is store No. 22.
About 20 store workers will be unloading plastic crates of clothing, filling clothing racks, arranging racks around the store and setting up cash registers all weekend until the store is ready to open. The plastic sheet that serves as its sign will be replaced by a neon fixture by Thanksgiving, Piurowski said.
Construction workers labored for about a month converting the dealership’s garage into a store, with new walls and flooring, heating and air-conditioning units, windows and a facade, since Label Shopper leased the building in mid-October.
Many of Label Shopper’s goods are overruns, items not sold at more upscale retailers.
Small consignment stores, Dollar Store and Family Dollar outlets, several thrift, sporting goods and convenience stores, as well as a Wal-Mart and a Marden’s Surplus and Salvage — both in Lincoln — sell some clothing in the Katahdin and Lincoln Lakes regions, but none are full-service, stand-alone clothing stores.
Avanti Bridal Salon & Boutique at 184 West Broadway offers pageant, prom, lingerie and women’s sportswear in addition to bridal party outfits, according to its Web site, avantibridalsalon.com. It also offers men’s tuxedo rentals.
Since news of Label Shopper’s opening in Lincoln got into circulation, Piurowski said she has been deluged with telephone calls from officials and businesspeople from other towns wondering if the store would open more outlets in Maine.
“I don’t really know,” she said. “You never can tell.”