LOMBARD – They've been preparing for it for weeks, everybody saw it coming and finally Lombard is getting dumped on.
But early indications suggest this could be a good thing for the area as a new furniture outlet store called The Dump prepares to open its doors in Lombard next week.
The store has the noticeable name of The Dump because its unique business model is designed to make shoppers dump their old ways of furniture shopping, said a store spokesman. The Dump is only open on weekends, it carries discounted furniture items and the sales floor is restocked weekly.
Haynes Furniture, the parent company of The Dump, is a Virginia-based furniture chain that will occupy a 134,000-square foot location on Highland Avenue, which previously housed the Great Indoors. It will also operate a 215,000-square foot warehouse in Addison. In all, the new store will create about 250 local jobs, according to the company.
"We began talking to them in earnest back in the fall," said Bill Heniff, director of the village's Community Development Department. "It's a really great opportunity. It's a recently constructed building, so it's completely up to code. It is really one of the main properties in the Butterfield corridor."
Marilyn Ramos is a 30-year Lombard resident, and she is one of the newest employees at The Dump. Although the store doesn't open until next Friday, she's already been working there the past month to help set up furniture displays. Ramos is a sales associate who will be helping customers select items for purchase.
"I've been in there helping set up the store," she said. "The atmosphere is fabulous."
She said her passion is design, and when The Dump opens, she's looking forward to helping customers select furniture and other items for their homes.
"I'm looking forward to helping," she said. "To mixing and matching, to helping people decide what they want."
Another sales associate and Lombard resident, Denise Carr, said she heard about the store coming to the village more than six months ago in the local newspaper. She'd never heard of The Dump and began visiting the store's website frequently. The quality of products impressed her, and eventually influenced her decision to apply.
Now that she works there, she believes she made the right decision.
"It's just been confirming all about what I researched on the website," Carr said.
In addition to the job creation, village officials are optimistic about the economic opportunities that The Dump will provide for Lombard.
Heniff and Village President Keith Giagnorio both recognize that having a business in a previously vacant retail property will generate additional sales tax revenue for Lombard, but they're hopeful this business will also create economic opportunities for Lombard restaurants and stores in the area.
"They don't consider their market as just Lombard and the adjacent communities," Heniff said. "They consider their market the entire Chicago area."
He said The Dump's marking reach will be a 50-mile radius from the Lombard location, drawing in customers who might never have visited Lombard otherwise. With customers coming from around the region, many people shopping at The Dump will likely make the trip to Lombard a whole-day experience, which means restaurants and other stores in the area will likely be patronized, too, Heniff said.
The village president agrees.
"There's the spill-over effect, with all of our restaurants and stores," Giagnorio said. "That'll really help out the area, that was already doing quite well."