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Day: January 24, 2011

Old Navy debuts Wed. at Keizer Station

Lindsey Frey, Andy Vo and store manager Molly Hitchen are at work getting the Old Navy store at Keizer Station ready for its Wednesday debut. (KEIZERTIMES/Jason Cox)

The Old Navy store at Keizer Station will open its doors Wednesday evening, with a grand opening event with giveaways set for Saturday, Jan. 29.

The clothing store’s soft opening is 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Wednesday, and the grand opening kicks off at 9 a.m. The first 200 customers in line will get tokens that give discounts or – in two cases – shopping sprees of $500 and $200, respectively.

Games for kids, like basketball, ring toss and tic-tac-toe, will be available along with cotton candy and a family-friendly DJ will be on hand from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday. Some items will be marked down for the grand opening.

The store replaces the Lancaster Mall location. The last day in Salem is Monday, Jan. 24, and the store manager said all their non-seasonal employees were offered jobs at the new store. About 70 people will comprise the initial staff.

The product line will obviously be the same, but there’s a few differences between the building they’re leaving behind in Salem and their new digs at Keizer Station, said store manager Molly Hitchen.

“The storefront is totally different,” Hitchen said, saying the atmosphere is more colorful.

One new feature is “Quick Change” stalls throughout the store. Essentially they’re a mirror and curtain where customers can quickly try on clothes without finding the fitting room.

Hitchen said that while the new store is a single-story building as opposed to the two-story structure at Lancaster Mall, the amount of product sold will be about the same.

“I think a lot of customer will assume because it’s one floor there’s less space,” Hitchen said, but added the lack of escalators in the middle of the store allow for more room.

Hitchen said store staff “feel(s) like people are very excited.”

The company is headquartered in San Francisco, and its first store opened in 2004. It’s a subsidiary of the Gap Corporation, traded publicly as GPS.

Old Navy
6190 Ulali Drive NE
Keizer, OR 97303

Salem area unemployment falls in Dec.

Unemployment in the Salem area fell in December 2010 to 10.8 percent, down from the November revised rate of 11.5 percent.

The number is still slightly higher than the statewide seasonally adjusted rate of 10.6 percent, and is higher than the 10.5 percent rate in December 2009.

Statistics are for the Salem Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which includes Keizer.

An estimated 21,191 Marion and Polk county residents were unemployed in a labor force of 197,469, according to WorkSource Oregon. An estimated 1,314 more people were unemployed in the area than in December 2009.

Total non-farm employment in December was 144,000, a decline of 2,700 jobs since December 2009, with 2,400 coming from the private sector.

In the month, total nonfarm employment fell by 1,500 jobs, with the private sector losing 1,200 and government dropping 300 jobs. The employment loss between November and December is “very typical” for the Salem area, according to Regional Economist Patrick O’Connor. The area has lost more than 11,000 jobs between April 2008 and December 2010, O’Connor stated.

In key sectors:

• Construction shed 200 jobs in December and has declined by 600 jobs in the past 12 months.
• Professional and business services continued to decline, dropping 100 positions.
• Manufacturing employment fell by 600 jobs, mostly due to seasonal adjustments in food manufacturing.
• Retail trade was unchanged in December but fell 800 jobs over the past 12 months.
• In the public sector, local government dropped 200 jobs and state government 100 positions. Federal job numbers were unchanged.

O’Connor expects high unemployment rates to persist in 2011.