Burlington Stores makes it 3 in the Upstate

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Pam Vahle, store manager, and Bill Wagner, regional vice president, at the new Burlington store in Anderson on opening day, Sept. 15.

Don’t count Burlington Stores among the retail chains that are scaling back their brick-and-mortar locations in the face of increasingly stiff online competition.

The store that Burlington opened in Anderson on Sept. 15 is one of three new outlets in South Carolina, said Bill Wagner, a regional vice president who oversees operations in the Carolinas and Tennessee.

Burlington launched a new store in Myrtle Beach in the spring and is planning to launch another in Florence, Wagner said.

Across the country, he said, it opened 11 stores in the spring and plans another 37 openings this fall.

“You can’t find what we offer online,” he told UBJ. “It’s available only in brick-and-mortar. It’s a great business model.”

The New Jersey-based chain, formerly called Burlington Coat Factory, sells apparel for women, men, and youth, including coats and handbags, as well as baby products and home decor items such as linens.

It has operated one store each in Greenville and Spartanburg for decades.

“Our customer base in Greenville and Spartanburg has been very loyal to us and has been telling us for quite a while that we need more stores in the area,” Wagner said.

The new 51,000-square-foot Anderson store is located along Clemson Boulevard next to Publix, where Kmart used to be.

Anderson Mayor Terence Roberts, who attended an opening day ceremony at the new store, said the Kmart it replaced closed less than a year ago.

The quick re-use of the retail space “says a lot about Anderson,” the mayor said. “It says a lot about the Upstate of South Carolina. … We’re going to continue to grow. We just need to make sure we grow smart.”

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