April 10, 2008 Charleston SC â€“ In a milestone year for Half-Moon Outfitters, that being the completion of their 15th year in business, the company is putting the finishing touches on a growth plan that includes three new stores in 2008. Half-Moon opened for business in a cramped 2000 square foot location on North Market Street, Charleston, S.C. on Feb 11th, 1993. The company last added a new store in April 2005 with the addition of their Savannah store. For the past three years, Half-Moon has been preparing for additional growth. The addition of a LEED certified (Platinum) Distribution Center has given the company a new foundation, as every product that passes through Half-Moon's doors is processed at this carbon negative facility. Solar Power, rainwater harvesting, and extremely efficient systems are all features of the 10,000 square foot building. Furthermore, the company has added backroom staff in preparation for the new store roll-out and is bracing for the added volume that the new stores are designed to bring.
The first of these new stores has now opened in Athens, GA on Feb 11th, on the very day of Half-Moon's 15th anniversary. The store is 4500 square feet and is in the Five Points area of Athens. Prior to an extensive renovation, the space was home to Charbon's Outfitters an Athens landmark for over 20 years.
The second new Half-Moon is scheduled to open on April 17th in the Virginia Highlands neighborhood of Atlanta, in what was most recently Metropolitan Deluxe. Company owner and President Beezer Molten said of the 4000 square foot choice: â€œwe have been waiting several years to get into Virginia Highlands and the timing is perfect as it comes right on the heels of our new Athens store which is just an hour or so down the road.â€ Stuart Meddin of the Meddin Co. in Atlanta is the landlord and has maintained contact with Half-Moon for years with other Atlanta retail sites in mind when finally the Virginia Highlands opportunity appeared. Molten remarked on the opportunity: â€œStuart called in early January and said that 1034 N. Highland Avenue was available, and having been a fan of the Metropolitan and Maddix Deluxe stores I knew the space well, which was a good thing as we did not have long to decide.â€ Katherine Smith, Half-Moon's graphic designer, and graduate of the Portfolio Center in Buckhead, said of the choice, â€œwe really like urban and neighborhood centers and in the long run it is the only way we are going to be successful with the big boxes like Dick's and REI expanding in the Southeast. We can go where they can't.â€ The store is scheduled to open April 19.
The final new location is back in Charleston, where it all started for the chain, and is to be in the South Windermere shopping center. Half-Moon is building the largest and eighth stores in a vacant movie theatre that once anchored the end of the decades old and venerable shopping center. The store will be over 11,000 square feet and will feature the very climbing wall that was the centerpiece of this past winter's Outdoor Retailer Trade Show in Salt Lake City, Utah where the world's best climbers displayed their skills.
New Half-Moons utilize the Green construction techniques that the company honed in the renovation of their Distribution Center. All are built with paints that are largely free of VOC's, lumber and building materials that are either rapidly renewable or regionally harvested, and fixtures that are reclaimed or recycled. When possible the company negotiates with landlords, such as the Sadler Group of South Windermere Charleston to enhance the systems of the building. In that particular building, the insulation, storefront glass, lighting, and HVAC systems will be enhanced to achieve a build-out that is significantly more efficient than a typical code compliant retail space.
Half-Moon Outfitters operates in Greenville, S.C., Columbia, S.C., Charleston, S.C., Mt. Pleasant, S.C., Savannah, Ga., Athens, Ga., and on the web at www.halfmoonoutfitters.com.