After months of anticipation, the Container Store is set to open its doors in Garden City Center on Saturday.
“We’re just so thrilled,” said Casey Shilling, the company’s vice president of public relations and marketing communications.
The Cranston store will be the company’s first location in the state, and its 66th nationwide. The Container Store began in 1978 in Dallas, focused on commercial items that previously had not been available to retail shoppers.
Since then, the company has expanded across the country. It recently opened locations in Philadelphia and the Seattle area, and has stores pending in Chicago, Los Angeles and Salt Lake City.
The locations are 25,000 square feet on average, and carry roughly 10,000 different products. The Cranston store has 16 sections, including closet, kitchen, office, travel, gift packaging and laundry.
“We are the only national retailer solely focused on storage and organization,” said Shilling. “Nobody focuses on it like the Container Store … It’s about saving our customers space, but really saving them time. In today’s world, being organized is not really a luxury, it’s a necessity.”
When the company was scouting locations in Rhode Island, Shilling said Garden City, which has undergone a major transformation in recent years, stood out.
“Garden City Center is the place in the Providence area,” she said.
The Container Store has hired approximately 40 people for the Garden City store, and all have undergone extensive training. Shilling said full-time employees receive 263 hours of formal training, and part-timers receive 77 hours.
“We’re pretty passionate,” she said, adding that the company pays its employees 50 to 100 percent more than the retail industry average.
A private preview party is being held at the Garden City store on Thursday, and the opening day is Saturday. Shilling said the opening weekend will feature prizes every hour on the hour, a $1,000 elfa space makeover giveaway on both Saturday and Sunday and the naming of a Rhode Island “Super Fan.”
Additionally, Crossroads Rhode Island – a nonprofit dedicated to helping homeless and at-risk individuals and families secure stable homes – will receive 10 percent of the store’s opening weekend sales.
Shilling said the partnership with Crossroads will continue beyond opening weekend, and the company is looking to work with other nonprofits as well.
“We always partner with a nonprofit that our customers are passionate about,” she said. “We have a very charitable business philosophy.”