Pictured: Simon Vicencio and Raul Gonzales with Hiway Neon Signs out of Pharr, Texas, hang the Melrose sign Tuesday at La Villita shopping center. OFELIA GARCIA HUNTER

New business to cater to clothing needs of the entire family

Ofelia Garcia Hunter, Alice Echo-News Journal

Most people think of Melrose as a store exclusively for women, but the new Melrose store opening in the next few days is designed for the whole family, store manager Veronica Vasquez said.

"It's a family Melrose," Vasquez said.

Vasquez said the store will have clothing for men, women, boys and girls.

As Melrose stores continue to expand, Melrose merchandising and visual teams are focused on the trends in fashion, making Melrose the place to shop for juniors, misses, plus sizes, maternity and accessories, store organizers said.

"It's more of a variety," said senior assistant manager Dalia Mendez.

Melrose began with one store in McAllen, Texas, more than 30 years ago in 1976, and now has more than 80 stores in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California with plans to open more this year, including the store in Alice.

Melrose is located at La Villita shopping center on the corner of E. Main Street and Coyote Trail.

According to the Web site, their "rapid successful growth stems from the simple marketing concept of offering customers quality fashion merchandise at the best possible price in a friendly, attractive atmosphere."

About two dozen workers Tuesday were hanging up jeans, organizing shoes and taking merchandise out of boxes to hang on racks.

Other specialty items in the store include purses, jewelry, cosmetics, belts and underclothing.

Vasquez said they are targeting Friday as their opening day if the store is stocked on time.

The store will have layaways with a deposit. Customers have 60 days to take out their merchandise.

Store hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 12 to 6 p.m.

Vasquez said the junior and teen market is their customer base.

"Our location here is more trendy because of the high school (customers)," she said. "We are getting ready for back-to-school."

A Melrose store was previously located at Sagewood Mall in Alice.