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Jan Moore: Turning more competition into a good thing
Biz moore-cam
Jan Moore
    For decades, boutique type ladies clothing stores have been an integral part of downtown Statesboro. The two that I remember being dragged into by my mother were Tillie's and Henry's.
    The Statesboro Mall was built in the early 1970's, and those two stores eventually closed. But, others, like the Cobbler's Bench and then Threads, opened in their absence and have flourished.  
    With the recent opening of Talbots, I wondered what, if any, would be the backlash on those downtown stores. I spoke with Paula Williams, the owner of Threads, who was very candid about the opening of Talbots.
    "I think it is natural to be apprehensive, even anxious, when another competitor enters your marketplace," Williams said. "When I first heard that Talbots was going to open, my initial reaction was to worry a little bit."
    "Once I thought about it, I realized that competition really is a good thing," she said. "I needed to look at my business, and make sure that I was doing what I needed to do to remain competitive."
    That self examination led to major business decision that Williams and her husband, Bill Williams, had been mulling over for a number of months.
    "Our original location that we opened in 2003 was on Mulberry Street, thus the name, Threads on Mulberry," Williams said. "My husband felt at some point we would need exposure on a main thoroughfare downtown. When our new location came available, it was around the time that Talbots was scheduled to open."
    "We felt like the time was right to make the move," she said. "It was the right decision. It just took a little competitive push to get us there. This is a very airy and bright space. It's just perfect."
    Williams's store is now called Threads and is located in Andy Burn's development on the corner of Zetterower Avenue and Savannah Avenue.
    "When I said that competition is good, I wasn't just being politically correct, I really meant it," Williams said. "The weekend that Talbots opened was the best weekend that my store had had in months. That opening got people in a shopping mood. When people are in a shopping mood, everybody benefits."
    "It is my hope that we continue to get more and more stores," she said. "We just need people to get 'stirred up' and go out and shop. We all benefit in that atmosphere."
    Until next week, I bid adieu.

    Got a scoop for Jan? Call her at (912) 489-9463 or e-mail her at
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