WEST CHESTER TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- Duluth Trading Co. will kick off business at its first Ohio location May 11 with everything one might expect at a grand-opening celebration -- food, coupons and lumberjacks.
In addition to highlighting the company's workwear, the professional lumberjacks will perform demonstrations throwing axes and sawing wood from noon to 5 p.m.
Although most shoppers might not be planning to fell trees anytime soon, company representatives are hopeful the store's offerings will be a hit in the area. A company statement cited a "large fan base" in Southwest Ohio as the primary reason for putting down roots in West Chester.
"It's a very good place for us to forward our brand," said Sean Benson, one of two store managers for Duluth Trading's West Chester location.
Duluth Trading Co. specializes in men's and women's workwear and clothing, including flannel shirts, longtail T-shirts and gardening apparel.
"All of our products are … clothes with a purpose," Benson said.
"They're offering a product that you can't just get at every other retail shopping center," said Aaron Wiegand, director of community development for West Chester Township.
The company emphasizes clothing geared toward physical labor with characteristics like durability and enhanced breathability; however, products like button-down shirts, sweaters and dresses appeal equally to office workers, Benson said.
"What's exciting about Duluth is its uniqueness to the market," Wiegand said.
The business is unique not only in its specialized clothing offerings. The retailer's West Chester location, at 9578 Civic Centre Blvd., is also one of only 21 nationwide.
Duluth operates primarily through catalog and online sales, but representatives for the company expect to see that change soon.
"We are expanding the brick-and-mortar portion of our business," Benson said.
The proximity to I-75 and the central position within the retailer's customer base make West Chester an optimal location for such a store.
The township's demographics make it appealing to retailers as well, Wiegand said. West Chester has more than 61,000 residents and an average household income of $107,000. About 37 percent of residents are between 35 and 54.
"West Chester has the ability to pull in people from throughout a wide region," Wiegand said.
Duluth isn't the only company to establish its first -- or only -- Ohio location in the township. West Chester is also home to the only Topgolf and Main Event locations in the state. And IKEA opened its first Ohio store in West Chester in 2008. A second location is expected to open in Columbus in June.
Duluth Trading Co. is currently receiving products in preparation for the store's May opening. The 40 employees hired to staff the store will spend the next few weeks stocking shelves and making sure the appropriate infrastructure is in place.