HomeGoods and Sierra Trading Post celebrate grand opening

Courtesy photo TJX Co.-owned retailer Sierra Trading Post welcomes shoppers to it’s new Nashua location at Royal Ridge Plaza on Sunday.

NASHUA – With the rousing chants of “STP!,” a throng of HomeGoods and Sierra Trading Post employees welcomed shoppers to the grand opening of its two stores in the Royal Ridge Plaza in South Nashua Sunday Morning.

Both stores operate under the TJX Co. brand of retailers, which also includes Marshall’s and TJ Maxx. The company’s corporate offices are located in Framingham, Massachusetts.

A ribbon cutting ceremony by Phil Bouchard, board president of Marguerite’s Place, a transitional housing program for women and children in crisis in Nashua, preceded the stores’ official openings. Bouchard was on hand to accept a check on behalf of HomeGoods in the amount of $10,000 for Marguerite’s Place.

Sierra Trading Post store manager Grace Crawford and HomeGoods store manager Joe Vaskelionis both thanked shopper for their early attendance before opening the doors.

Shopper MaryLou Brown of Hudson joked that she wasn’t exactly sure why she was there at 7:30 a.m. on a Sunday.

“I love HomeGoods,” she said. “I just wanted to come out to see the new store. I don’t know much about Sierra Trading Post, but I was happy to hear they were both coming here.”

Another voice in the crowd, lining out into the parking lot, simply shouted, “This is like Christmas shopping!”

Crawford noted that this is the first Sierra Trading Post in New Hampshire.

“Because we’re off-price retailers, that makes us different than anybody else,” she said of the active and outer wear and outdoor equipment store. “And being part of the TJX family, I think that brand awareness is really going to get out there. That’s what we’re hoping for.”

YMCA Community Relations Director Elizabeth Covino also was in attendance and spoke about the monetary donation that Sierra Trading Post provides for youth groups.

“I got a call from Grace – they wanted to come into the community and do something nice for an organization that works with children in the outdoors,” Covino said. “And with our YMCA camps, it was a perfect fit.”

Sierra Trading Post also donated $10,000 toward YMCA Camp scholarships.

“For kids whose families couldn’t afford to come to camp, they now have the opportunity. This helped dozens of children this summer,” Covino added.

Rob Fox, director of stores for the TJX Co., said the plans for adding the brand of Sierra Trading Post to the area (there is a HomeGoods in Nashua on Amherst Street), has been in the works for some time.

“From the time we agree on a site, sign a lease, either build a new construction or convert the existing building, it takes over a year,” he said. “And then we like being next to our other TJX banners – we’ve got Marshalls, TJ Maxx, HomeGoods and Sierra Trading Post now. That’s a nice, natural draw for us. And we also better understand who the customer is. We can better determine the best fit for us.”

Friday night, both HomeGoods and Sierra Trading Post invited VIP customers to a special event from 4- 7 p.m. More than 500 shoppers came out to check out the sales.

In 2016, the TJX Co. generated more than $33 billion in revenues.

Vaskelionis echoed Fox’s sentiment.

“With HomeGoods, it definitely shows the success of the brand, that we can have two locations in this city,” he said. “Nashua has always been great about supporting our brands. It’s a great area, and I’m from here. I know the area, and they’ve been asking for this for a long time.”

So why are store like Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Sierra Trading Post and now, a second Nashua location for HomeGoods, so popular?

“No. 1, we have great value,” Vaskelionis said. “People can buy top brands, top fashion, at a value. Secondly, the way our company works and buys, it’s like a treasure hunt. You never know what you’re going to find. We have customers that, after a while, know our truck schedules, because they want to see what’s new, what we’ve received. All of the excitement is based around that – you never know what cool thing you’re going to get.”