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College Hill sports new clothing store

Friday the 13th wasn't so unlucky for the storefront at 183 Angell St.

The retail space, which has sat empty since Planned Parenthood Express closed last fall, is now home to a newly opened apparel store called JAC's.

"We're definitely looking to attract people that are from this area," said owner Christina Marsland, adding that she chose to open her store on the auspicious day because it was her "luckiest day."

JAC's — which stands for jewelry, accessories and clothing — offers "fashion on a budget," Marsland said, with apparel marked at a "lower price-point, so it's affordable to everybody."

The store also features an area with coffee urns and cookies for customers looking to snag a bite as they peruse the retail selection.

Marsland said she first noticed the empty location, directly across from Spats Restaurant, in September as she walked around the East Side of Providence in search of open storefronts. A month later, "it was still open, and I went for it," she said.

But Marsland said only a handful of customers visited the new shop in its first few days, which she attributed to the weekend rain.

"A lot of people said we had good prices," she said.

Marsland is only using the front of the store to display her selection of coats, T-shirts and jewelry, but she said she has plans to create a sale room or provide "another service" in the back area, which she said would add to her repertoire of low-priced, "youth-oriented" offerings.

"We try to (keep prices) low for the students," she said. "We just want to be part of the neighborhood around here."

The clothing store's opening kicks off the wave of stores and restaurants that are set to open in the next few months on or around Thayer Street. Better Burger Company will open at 215-217 Thayer St. in January, owner Andy Mitrelis told The Herald last month. New businesses are also set to move into the spaces previously containing Roba Dolce and Geoff's sandwich shop, according to property manager Kent Stetson '01.

Stetson said the storefront, which he also manages, remained unoccupied for more than a year before a new tenant expressed interest in the space.

"There are a lot of risks in starting a new business," he said. "The rent's really very good there, but it's a very difficult retail market now."


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