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Friday, May 21, 2010

Old Navy Store Hours

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Knitting fan opens luxury yarn shop
Arvilla Trag remembers watching her grandmother knit. She couldn't help but be intrigued by the process and creativity in the designs because her grandma knitted constantly.

"I would take the sweaters she made and just stare at them. Like a tiger striped sweater she made for my brother when I was 6 years old," she says. "I tried to figure out how she did it."

Years later, Trag would find others staring at her when she knitted in airport terminals and on airplanes. She frequently traveled the U.S. and Europe as a consultant in the biopharmaceutical drug manufacturing industry, but she never left home without her needles and yarn.

"Other knitters would watch me, or people who didn't knit, who were just as fascinated in the process as I had once been," she says.

In the course of a year, she would knit an average of four to six sweaters and a half a dozen hats and scarves, in addition to everything from afghans to socks.

When the economy took a nose dive and companies trimmed travel expenses, Trag found herself in a forced retirement. Since she had not worked in a year, she decided to do something entirely different.

To pursue a dream.

That dream is The Yarn Gourmet, a small luxury yarn shop located at 2915 Mishawaka Ave., in the heart of the River Park business district. She signed the lease for the store in early April, about a month after her father died. The store opened Wednesday.

"He made me promise him I would do something with the money he left me," Trag says.

Her store has taken the fast-track, which is the reason she is still waiting on some yarn orders to arrive. She is planning to stock such brands as Berroco, Seduce, Peruvia Quick, Weekend, and Artyard, in addition to other brands now on order.

"I love color. I am a color junkie," she says about what knitters can expect to find in her store. Bright jewel tone colors, especially blues, greens and purples, as well as earth tones are visible across the store.

After Labor Day, she plans to add classes for everyone from the absolute beginner who has never touched a needle to the experienced knitter who earns a livelihood from her creations.

Advanced classes might focus on working with color and lace, and even teach some old-fashioned techniques like Swedish Bohus Stickning, which may sound familiar to hard-core knitters.

"I ultimately would like to have this shop be someplace people can come and sit and knit, even if they're not buying any yarn that day," says Trag, who jokes how she needs to knit herself a clone.

Trag has been posting the progress of her business venture, as well as many of her yarn shop ideas, at http://yarngourmet.blogspot.com. The Yarn Gourmet is also on Facebook, where you can see some of her completed project photos.

"I figured this was something I would do a little later in life," Trag says about her store, which she hopes to expand over time. "Hopefully I can provide the yarns that people want so I can continue to expand and be 'the' yarn shop for South Bend."

Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday and Monday.

The Yarn Gourmet and other businesses in the River Park area are scheduled to hold their annual parade at 10 a.m. Saturday. The parade starts at Indiana University South Bend and travels across Mishawaka Avenue to 36th Street. And some River Park businesses are planning special events following the parade.

Flipping over flops

That's right, $1 flip flops are back on Saturday at an Old Navy store near you.

I'm planning to cover the famous sale bright and early from the Grape Road, Mishawaka, store. This store, as well as the Erskine Village location in South Bend, opens at 7 a.m., which is 2 1/2 hours earlier than usual.

You might recall how about 1,000 customers lined up outside and mobbed the Grape Road Old Navy last year. Mishawaka police were called in to settle the crowd.

Employees here and across the country have been preparing for weeks to make the sale run more smoothly this year. Shoppers will be instructed to line up outside the store and proceed single-file inside, and stores will hold customers to the five-pair limit per person.

Gap 1Q Profit Rises 40%; Raises Year EPS View 
Gap Inc.'s (GPS) fiscal first-quarter earnings jumped 40% on a sales rebound and improved margin as the casual-apparel retailer raised its full-year earnings outlook.

With business taking off again, Gap boosted its full-year target by 7 cents to $1.77 to $1.82 a share. Analysts' latest average estimate was $1.83, according to Thomson Reuters.

Gap shares were down 1.6% at $21.72 after hours. Last month, the stock hit its highest level in more than eight years. In the last year, it has risen 38%, outperforming the broader market.

Chairman and Chief Executive Glenn Murphy said the quarter's results were a "great start" to the year and will fuel its international and online strategy. Gap previously said its goal is to gain North American market share and expand internationally. It is opening its first Gap stores in China and Italy and expanding Banana Republic in Europe.

Earlier this month, the company said sales grew across all its brands, which significantly improved earnings. It said net sales rose 6% to $3.33 billion as comparable store sales increased 4%. Same-store sales were strongest at the lower-price Old Navy operations in North America, with 7% growth. International same-store sales were flat, the weakest of all segments.

Many retailers have seen sales rebound from the prior-year period, when anemic consumer spending and slumping traffic challenged stores' ability to reduce inventory. To cope, Gap targeted promotions for increasing traffic, such as gearing Old Navy to appeal to budget-conscious moms, and brought in some outside products.

For the quarter ended May 1, the company posted a profit of $302 million, or 45 cents a share, from $215 million, or 31 cents a share, a year earlier. The latest results included a 2-cent tax benefit. Earlier this month, the company projected 43 cents or 44 cents including the tax boost, better than the average analyst estimate at the time.

Gross margin rose to 42.1% from 39.6%.

Inventory per square foot rose 12% as of the end of the quarter. The company ended the quarter with 3,085 locations.

The company made $296 million in stock repurchases during the quarter; it has a $1 billion buyback plan.

Old Navy Store Hours & Locations: $1.00 Flip Flop Sale Today...! 
Old Navy Flip Flops are a must-have for ladies and young girls alike every spring and summer. You see them everywhere you go and Old Navy has them in a vast array of colors. And now Old Navy is having an amazing sale on flip flops and it starts today on May 22, 2010. I am very excited to go and pick me and my four children some flip flops tomorrow.

If you go to the Old Navy’s website, you can find there store locations as well as Old Navy’s store hours, so you can go and stock up on the very popular and comfortable Old Navy flip flops. I believe I will up a couple of neutrals and a blue and red for myself as well as let my children pick out a few pairs for each one of them.

At least this time, it will be inexpensive enough for the children to do their own shopping instead of me saying “No!” so often! Be sure and head to the Old Navy website to find out their Old Navy's Store Hours at a location near you!



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