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Old Navy at Lennox Center gets makeover

The “SuperModelquins” at the Old Navy Lennox store have something new to smile about. The mannequins featured in the clothing store’s commercials are getting a new home that costs about $1 million.

Old Navy at Lennox Town Center, located on Olentangy River Road, is one of three Columbus stores being remodeled. The Sawmill location had its grand reopening in December 2009, and the Easton location is currently under renovation.

“It’s all about sharing an elevated shopping experience with the customer by being more upbeat and vibrant,” said Jeanne Charnas, a manager at the Lennox location who has worked for Old Navy for 10 years. “We’re putting the ‘wow’ back into shopping.”

Bradley Rexroat has been the head manager at the Lennox location since August 2007 and said this renovation is “bringing a fresh face to Old Navy.”

Fitting rooms are now located in the center of the store rather than the back, and cash registers are lined up in a row to create a single line for customers checking out. Charnas said this new layout makes it easier for customers to navigate the store.

The store also has a new paint job and more fluorescent lighting, part of the “vibrant” aspect Charnas described.

“The store looks bigger now even though nothing changed square footage-wise,” Rexroat said.

Some customers said it appears more products are on display now, but Charnas said the amount has not changed since the renovation.

“It looks different visually because of the floor layout,” Charnas said. “But we’ve made permanent homes for favorite items, like jeans and T-shirts, so customers always know where to go to find them.”

So far customers have been happy with the changes, Charnas said.

The Lennox location was chosen to be remodeled earlier than other locations, Charnas said, because of demographics, landlord choice and the volume of sales.

The company’s goal is to have 25 percent of the 1,022 Old Navy stores nationwide remodeled by the end of 2010 and have every store finished by the end of 2012, Rexroat said in an e-mail.

A “Customer Experience Survey” is given out to random customers during the check-out process. It is designed for customers to go online and rate their experience at Old Navy based on a 35-point scale.

“The [Customer Experience Survey] points were down because of the confusion with the barricades up during the remodeling, but we’ve risen three points in the last four days and we continue to go up,” Charnas said.

Customer comments include “clothes neatly displayed,” “cashiers are quick, efficient and happy” and “store is easy to navigate.”

Charnas said the success is due in part to the staff, which is more than 90 percent Ohio State students, who “helped lead customers through the change without negative effects.”

Still, some customers have yet to notice the new changes.

“I could smell the renovation … the paint smell mostly. But I don’t shop here often enough to really notice the change by myself,” said Kelly Joyce, a first-year in anthropology.

Sarah Askins, a fourth-year in human development and family science, has worked at the Lennox location for two years.

Askins said she “hasn’t heard a single complaint about the store” but thinks in addition to placing the fitting rooms in the center of the store, the number of rooms should increase.

“And I don’t really like the mirrors inside the fitting rooms because the fluorescent lights make them too bright,” she said.

Rexroat agreed the number of fitting rooms is the only constraint, but is still excited about the grand reopening on May 15 to which “all students are invited,” he said.

“Old Navy is simply trying to get away from the boxed-in shops and the warehouse style,” Rexroat said. “The stores haven’t changed since Old Navy was founded in 1994, and it was just time for a change.”


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