New clothing store coming to town

Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Sharlena Aronhalt, manager of Factory Connection, arranges clothes on racks in preparation for the store's opening this weekend. Aronhalt said the shop should be ready for customers on Friday or Saturday.(Laurie Sisk/Tribune)

Sharlena Aronhalt, manager of Factory Connection, a new clothing store at 2400 S. Main St., Suite 600, busies herself on Tuesday hanging clothes and checking in merchandise from one of the many delivery trucks coming to the store in preparation for its opening this weekend.

Seemingly buried between wall-to-wall racks of new merchandise, Aronhalt said she hoped to greet customers this Friday, but may have to settle for a Saturday opening because even more inventory is coming in.

"We have received a lot more clothes than expected," Aronhalt said "But that is good news for our customers."

She said she has been hearing chatter about the store as far away as Pittsburg.

"Lots of people are excited to have us here," Aronhalt said. "There has been a lot of buzz about our opening."

She said the store will carry a lot of name brands and shoppers can find about "anything they can imagine." The store carries a full line of men's, women's, juniors and misses clothing, including shoes and accessories.

Aronhalt said she plans to hire three more part-time employees at the store and those interested should look for notices on the outlet's storefront.

She added that employees of Goody's, a clothing store next to Factory Connection, have already extended their welcome. She said she is looking forward to a good relationship with her new neighbor.

Aronhalt said the exact date of their official grand opening has not been determined, but she expects it will be in a little more than a week and will include a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The company's website,, touts name-brand merchandise at 25 to 70 percent off department store prices and an invitation to join its Fashion Connection VIP Advantage Club for more savings. The club membership is free and members receive coupons, birthday savings and advance notice of new arrivals and upcoming sales.

Nationally, the Guntersville, Ala.-based chain has more than 260 stores in 13 states, including locations in Pittsburg, Parsons, Chanute and Emporia. The company buys direct from leading fashion manufacturers, which they say allows Factory Connection to offer name brand and specialty store fashions for less. The firm ships new merchandise to its stores twice a week -- sometimes based on special limited-quantity purchases. The chain employs 1,300 people and operates from its corporate offices and 70,000 square-foot distribution center.