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Container Store opening in Garden City

Employees prepare for the Saturday opening of The

Employees prepare for the Saturday opening of The Container Store at the Gallery at Westbury Plaza shopping center. They’re trained to help customers solve organizational problems, creatively. (Aug. 2, 2012) Credit: Nancy Borowick

With its new location, The Container Store is aiming to make Long Islanders dance, the company's chief executive said.

After a long search for the perfect spot, the Dallas-based storage and organization retailer will debut its Long Island store at the new Gallery at Westbury Plaza Saturday.

“If we've got you dancing in your closet, you've got to tell your sister-in-law, your neighbor -- that's how we build ourselves in a new market,” said Kip Tindell, chief executive and chairman of The Container Store. “It has to do with the theatrical, emotional side of retail. Even a trash can can make you smile.”

The Container Store will open its doors at the new Garden City shopping center a short distance from the Roosevelt Field mall. Ten percent of all opening weekend sales at the store will be donated to the Women's Fund of Long Island, a Jericho-based organization that provides grants and programs supporting gender equity and women's rights as well as leadership and economic development.

The company says the new store sits in the midst of a shopping hub where the target customer is “well educated” and “busy,” making it a prime location. Store employees receive 263 hours of training in their first year, Tindell said.

“We're selling solutions,” he said. “You need employees who can relate to the customer and engage in this creative process and solve the organizational problems the customer has.”

The new store will be The Container Store's 57th and one of six locations opening this year -- the largest real estate expansion in the company's history.

If its first Long Island location does better than expected, the company will look to open another, Tindell said. The company is very selective about where it sets up shop; it took about 12 years to find the new Long Island location.

“We are as picky about store locations as we are about employees,” Tindell said.

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