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NAO gearing up for moving week

The shop's last day in Nugget Mall was Sunday

Posted: September 22, 2013 - 8:33pm  |  Updated: September 23, 2013 - 12:06am

Mary Frances Griggs has been a customer of Nugget Alaskan Outfitters, now called NAO, since it was Nugget Department Store in the 1970s. And she was there on its last day in Nugget Mall. After 25 years at the same location, the shop is closing its doors for a week and reopening at Mendenhall Mall on Sept. 28.

On Sunday, Griggs, her daughter, Jojo Griggs, and niece, Sydnee Reid, were doing some “rainy day shopping” for jeans, Reid said. Griggs said she buys everything from NAO, from ski equipment to shoes to clothes to rain gear.

That won’t change once the shop has a new home, she said.

“It’ll be closer and easier, so I’m looking forward to it,” Griggs said.

Manager Erik Anderson, who has worked for NAO in different capacities for more than 15 years, said the new location boasts an extra 4,000 square feet in retail and inventory space.

“We’ll be able to key everything the way we want it, instead of just trying to find a place for it,” he said.

Big front windows will provide natural light and a place to display new items. Plus, the store will be directly accessible from the parking lot, a big advantage, NAO employee Shelby Cook said.

“We’ll have our own front door that leads right outside,” he said.

Cook said the next week will be spent moving inventory from Nugget Mall to Mendenhall Mall. All 15 employees will be helping with the move, plus members of the Juneau-Douglas High School football team. Cook said NAO donated to the team in exchange for some “strong backs” to lug boxes.

Staff took down the NAO sign from the storefront yesterday. Anderson said its “still weird” to be leaving the Nugget Mall location, despite the perks of the new space. NAO has been in the same place for a long time, he said.

“I remember being a kid and hiding under the racks while my parents were shopping,” he said.

NAO will host a Grand Reopening on Sept. 28 at the Mendenhall Mall location, featuring special sales and giveaways.

• Contact reporter Katie Moritz at 523-2294 or at katherine.moritz@juneauempire.com.

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