Downtown clothing store moves to Salmon Run Mall

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WATERTOWN — During last year’s holiday shopping season, merchant Marylois Queal thought about moving her downtown clothing store, Loft 315, to the Salmon Run Mall.

But she figured she would stick it out at her Franklin Street storefront.

A few weeks later, she found out she would have to close for at least three or four months while Neighbors of Watertown and Jefferson Community College proceeded with the construction of JCC’s education center.

On Wednesday, Mrs. Queal, 46, opened her business in the mall to avoid being in limbo for months.

“I love it here,” she said, stressing that she doesn’t regret the move.

She’s done more business in two days than she would have for an entire month at the downtown location, the businesswoman said.

She’s leasing about 3,200 square feet — about 2½ times more space than downtown — in a store next to the Torrid store.

For now, she’s the only employee of the business she began in 2019.

She’d like to initially add a couple of part-time employees and then expand that to eight in the future.

With the move, she’s expanding from her own brand of jeans she’s sold at Loft 315 to “more general clothing” that fits with the mall atmosphere, Mrs. Queal said.

It’s not the first time that she’s worked at the mall. Her first job was working in the children’s department at Bon-Ton, then at the Lerner’s Shop, and she helped open the Disney Store there in the mid-1990s.

“I feel like I’m back home,” she said.

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