September 17, 2014
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Pinkberry, H&M open in Warwick Mall this month

It’s been nearly two years since the floods of 2010 infiltrated Warwick Mall and caused its temporary closure. The reopening unveiled a new look and many new stores, and Warwick Mall has been adding to its list of vendors since.

The Nordstrom Rack will open in October or November, but two new stores are opening much sooner. H & M, a clothing store, opens today at noon, and Pinkberry, a frozen yogurt shop, will open Saturday June 16 at 10 a.m.

The first 100 people in line at H & M today will receive scratch ticket coupons, and those that hurry to the opening of Pinkberry are likely to get free samples, said the mall’s general manager, Domenic Schiavone.

“We’ve got world-renowned retailers, like H & M out of Sweden,” he said. “And Pinkberry has created quite a buzz.”

Aram Garabedian, co-managing partner of Warwick Mall, said the newest additions to the mall are very exciting.

Pinkberry serves frozen, soft-serve yogurt topped with fresh fruits and other sweet treats. The franchise started in Los Angeles, but now has more than 100 locations, including one in Cranston’s Garden City Center. H & M has 2,500 locations worldwide, including one in Providence Place Mall.

Garabedian said the addition of new stores has added to the appeal of the mall.

“People tell me how they love this and love that,” he said.

Though most of the comments he gets are from women, men do occasionally tell Garabedian how much they like the mall, especially in the post-flood years.

“I had one woman say she’d rather spend time in Macy’s dressings rooms because it’s nicer than where she lived,” he said.

Although the flood was a major financial setback, Garabedian can now look back on it almost fondly.

“The mall was born in 1970,” he said. “In 1990 it gets a facelift. In 2010 much was redone, and a new string of stores have changed people’s perception about the mall.”

Garabedian said the addition of Jordan’s Furniture has been hugely beneficial and is also thrilled that Nordstrom Rack will be coming in the fall.

In the meantime, Garabedian is looking forward to H & M and Pinkberry opening their doors.

“With all the negative stuff we hear in Rhode Island, you can see why people may not have thought we’d rise from the ashes, or rather, the water,” he laughed.

But Warwick Mall did rise and has managed to stay loftily afloat.


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