Unemployed women often don't have the money to buy a new suit to interview for a job.

So New York-based Dressbarn women's store, a division of Ascena Retail Group Inc. , hopes to help them via its ninth annual clothing donation program called Send One Suit Weekend. It's set for Thursday through Sunday in conjunction with the international nonprofit group Dress for Success.

Look for drop-off sites at all 825 locations across the country, including two in the metro Charleston area. They are at Tanger Outlet Center in North Charleston and Azalea Square in Summerville. Last year, the stores collected 43,000 items. The goal is 50,000 gently used suits, dresses, skirts, slacks, blouses, belts and shoes to benefit low- income women who are looking for employment.

Those who donate will receive 15 percent off their total purchase.

Coming soon

The former Vickery's Bar and Grill at 15 Beaufain St., which closed last June after 18 years, is being renovated for a new restaurant and bar. A liquor license has been applied for through the newly formed Leaf Cafe LLC, according to a sign on the door, but that might not necessarily be the name of the coming restaurant.

No word on an opening date.

Going dark

Maine Cottage is shutting its retail furniture store at 525 King St. in downtown Charleston, according to Susan Lucas of the King Street Marketing Group. A sign on the door says it is temporarily closed. The small chain had been at that location for more than seven years. The company has other shops in Yarmouth, Maine, and West Palm Beach, Fla.


--Reinert LePrince Fine Art Gallery opened Saturday at 179 King St. It's the product of Rick Reinert and Kevin LePrince.

--Savannah Bee honey shop opened Saturday at 216 King St. in the former Body Shop.


Merrill Benfield Interior Design, which closed in early December for repairs to its furnace and water and gas lines, will reopen at 28 Hasell St. in downtown Charleston by month's end, owner Merrill Benfield said.

Satisfied customers

For the 17th consecutive year, Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix is the highest-ranking supermarket for customer satisfaction, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, achieving a score of 84 points.

The ranking is determined through customer interviews and measures factors such as customer expectations, perceived quality, perceived value, customer complaints and customer retention.

The ACSI is produced through a partnership between the University of Michigan Business School, the American Society for Quality and the international consulting firm CFI Group.

Publix is privately owned and operated by its 146,500 employees with 2009 sales of $24.3 billion. Publix has 1,032 stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee.

Troop salute

The owners of Citadel Mall and Northwoods Mall want Lowcountry residents to show their appreciation for men and women serving in the military through Operation Heartfelt Salute.

Through March 12, shoppers can write a letter or note to the troops, drop off care-package supplies or a new or used CD or DVD, or buy a $1 patriotic-colored bracelet at the mall management offices and select stores at either mall.

For additional information, go to CitadelMall.net or ShopNorthWoodsMall.com.

In the know? Do you know of a business that is opening, closing or expanding? Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524. Read his next column on Thursday.