Businesses Welcome New Tenant At Former Ocean Springs K-Mart

Sherri Brown admits business at the Star Wine and Liquor store in Ocean Springs dried up a bit when its next-door neighbor K-Mart closed its doors four years ago.

Store employee Sherri Brown said "Initially, it hurt us a little bit. Then things really slacked off".

These days, when Brown looks out the window, she sees a welcome sight. Brown said "You just didn't see as many cars, and now here our parking lot is so full and there's people everywhere".

Brown credits the burst in business at "Parkside Square Shopping Center" to the arrival of America's Thrift Store. When the Christian resale store turned the vacant 50,000 square foot building into its new home, customers followed.

Kim Reed is the store manager. She said "We got faithful customers. They're faithful. The morning we opened, they were standing in line waiting".

Now, customers are also lining up at restaurants, stores and offices in the shopping center. Subway Manager Sherry Wycoff said "I see a lot of folks come in with Thrift Store bags when they come in, so I'm thinking it's been good for us".

And store managers in the area are counting on busier days ahead, thanks to their new neighbor. Reed said "They'll come in, they'll go eat, they'll go buy their groceries, so it's a help-help situation for everybody".

Brown said "This is great. Now at least it will keep us alive. It will keep this shopping center alive".

Now that America's Thrift Store has moved to bigger quarters, the city of Ocean Springs is looking for a new tenant at its old building in the "Seashore Plaza Shopping Center".

By: Trang Pham-Bui