Old Navy is expected to open a store late next month at the Durango Mall.
The clothing store arrives two years after the JCPenney store closed at the mall as a result of chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The store’s arrival could help fill a void for customers seeking less expensive apparel from a major clothing retailer in Durango. There aren’t many options besides Ross, T.J. Maxx and Walmart. As a result, some residents drive to Farmington to shop at big-name clothing retailers.
“As part of the brand’s growth strategy, Old Navy is focused on opening new stores in smaller markets to reach new customers who have had the opportunity to shop the brand online but haven’t had access to a local store,” an Old Navy spokesperson wrote in an email to The Durango Herald.
Last year, the brand opened about 42 new company-owned store locations in smaller markets, with about 30 stores planned in 2022.
Old Navy plans to offer curbside pickup and buy online/pick-up-in-store options to promote safe shopping and convenience for those who don’t want to stand in check out lines.
Durango Chamber of Commerce CEO Jack Llewellyn said Old Navy will offer more retail variety.
“Anytime we can add to the retail choices and keep folks here shopping in our community, whether it's Old Navy or T.J. Maxx, I think that can be a good thing,” he said.
Llewellyn said more retail, especially in areas lacking, prevents commerce leakage to other states and the internet. He finds that clothing for men has been limited since JCPenney went out of business.
“Having more selection in the clothing lines can have a positive impact ... so we don't go down and spend our hard-earned money, so to speak, in Albuquerque or Denver,” he said.
It also means more sales tax revenue and more employment opportunities for the local community.
Old Navy could attract other big-name stores to the Durango Mall, he said. The number of stores in the mall has decreased significantly over the last five years. Llewellyn said the mall attracts people who want to try on clothes before purchasing, and many people still value that option.
According to a sign posted outside the window, Old Navy is hiring before opening in September, and those interested can apply on the company’s website.