Plus-size women’s fashion retailer goes social in new store concept

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Ashley Stewart has opened its first-ever “concept store,” in Newark, New Jersey.

The 4,500 sq.-ft. location marks a significant milestone for the company as it is the first brick-and-mortar opening since the reinvention of the brand, which has gone through a turnaround under the leadership of CEO James Rhee,

The 4,500-sq.-ft. store houses a full range of branded apparel, jewelry and handbags, and also incorporates a new “social lounge” that houses a marketplace dedicated to a curated selection of Ashley's favorite non-apparel brands. The lounge area is designed as a fashion haven for friends to gather.

The new Ashley Stewart also has large fitting rooms that lead to a runway-ready lounge, complete with a digital display that streams the brand's multimedia content. The space also includes dedicated vignettes, including a Casual Shop, Career Shop and Intimates Shop.

Along with a return to physical growth, the new store also marks the brand’s return to the city of Newark.

"We are particularly excited for Ashley Stewart's return to Newark," remarked Nicole Goodman, manager of Ashley Stewart Newark. "In many ways Ashley is reconnecting with a good friend from the past, and we are thrilled to give her something to talk about with this new store concept."

Ashley Stewart currently operates 90 stores.