It's Your Business: Stores coming to Tuscola mall

Chico's and American Eagle Outfitters plan to open stores at Tanger Outlets in Tuscola this spring.

Chico's, a women's clothing chain that has a store at Champaign's Old Farm Shops, plans to open the Tuscola outlet on April 24, said Morrie Mendenhall, Tanger's general manager.

It will occupy the space between Aeropostale and Tommy Hilfiger, Mendenhall said. That space was vacated by Zales in late February.

American Eagle Outfitters, which sells clothes for men and women and has a store at Champaign's Market Place Mall, plans to open May 1 in Tuscola, Mendenhall said.

It will be in the space between Christopher & Banks and Bath & Body Works. That space was occupied by Book Warehouse until it moved farther west, next door to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.

American Eagle has scheduled a job fair on April 9, April 11 and April 13. Chico's, meanwhile, is accepting job applications online.

Tasting event

Eager to try a variety of locally prepared foods?

You'll get that chance Saturday when the Threads of Time quilting shop and retreat center in Danville hosts its second "tasting event."

Area restaurants and specialty food shops will set up stations in the large sewing room of Threads of Time's retreat center. Customers can sample foods for free from noon to 3 p.m. that day.

Threads of Time has more than 4,000 bolts of fabric and thousands of notions in its retail store at 207 S. Buchanan St. The attached retreat center can accommodate 48 sewers, quilters, knitters and crafters at a time and 36 people for overnight retreats.

For more information, contact Zach Williams at Threads of Time, 431-9202.

Around Campustown

Something old, something new ... there's a chance you might find it at Johnstown General Store in Champaign's Campustown.

The store opened March 15 at 502 E. John St., Unit 107 — the ground-floor space in Johnstowne Centre formerly occupied by Notes-N-Quotes.

Store Manager Zhenyuan "Jack" Zhang said the general store sells new school supplies, office supplies and housewares — but also second-hand items, such as tables, chairs, shelving and games.

The store also provides printing and copying services, he said.

Zhang, a University of Illinois junior majoring in agricultural and biological engineering, said the original idea was to sell only used items that students could use to furnish their places while in school.

But since it was an untested concept in Campustown, Zhang said the business decided to offer new supplies as well. Plus, the general store will offer course packets prepared by Notes-N-Quotes, he said.

Zhang said the store is owned by his mother, Xuemei Zhong. Store hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

The phone number is 607-5384, and the website — which shows some of the used merchandise — is http://www.johnstowngeneralstore.com.

The location is just west of Insomnia Cookies.

Bye Doodles, hi Wendy's

Doodles, the restaurant in Johnstowne Centre that offered Ramen noodles, sushi and more, closed in early March.

Located just north of Insomnia Cookies, Doodles opened in late 2010 and featured an array of inexpensive menu items for lunch and supper.

Elsewhere in Campustown, Wendy's has been operating at its new location for a little over a month.

The store at 608 S. Sixth St., C — south of Den Liquors and north of Busey Bank — is open from 9:30 a.m. to midnight seven days a week.

Franchisee for the store is Mike Allegro of All Star Management, which operates 17 stores in northeastern Illinois.

Hours shift

The Carle Auxiliary Resale Boutique has shifted its weekday hours slightly.

The store, at 810 W. University Ave., U, is now open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, instead of 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. those days.

Its weekends hours remain the same: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays.

The boutique accepts donations of clothing, shoes, household goods, books, DVDs, CDs, jewelry and accessories, among other items.

Proceeds from the boutique go toward the Carle Auxiliary Guest House, student scholarships, baby shirts for newborns and professional excellence awards for nurses.

Self-defense/surveillance

Bart Bailey of Danville recently opened two online businesses, Illini Self Defense.com and Illini Surveillance.com.

The first business sells personal alarms, pepper spray, metal detectors, stun guns, animal repellents, safes that don't look like safes, safety lights and instructional fighting DVDs, among other things.

The second business sells spy cameras, hidden surveillance equipment and alarm systems.

Bailey said he has been selling products on eBay for about a decade, but when he got into self-defense products, there were a number of items that eBay would not allow him to sell on its site.

That prompted him to establish his own sites.

Bailey's full-time job is as a sales representative working from Urbana. His dabblings in e-commerce "started out as a hobby," he said, but have grown into a business.

"There's definitely a market for these products out there, when you hear about robberies and shootings," he said.

The websites for the businesses are http://www.illiniselfdefense.com and http://www.illinisurveillance.com.

Contact Don Dodson at 351-5227 or 800-252-3346; by email at dodson@news-gazette.com; or by regular mail at The News-Gazette, c/o It's Your Business column, P.O. Box 677, Champaign, IL 61824-0677.

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