Local shoppers dismayed by the loss of southern Maine’s only Pier 1 Imports store back in 2005 can now rejoice.

As of Monday, Pier 1 is back.

“Yes, finally,” said shopper Tina Higgins of Portland, standing in the checkout line on opening day at Pier 1’s new Maine Mall store in South Portland. “They have the things I need to fill in around the house and at Christmastime. Stuff I don’t need, too.”

Store manager Pamela Starnes said Monday afternoon that the store’s grand opening was going well, and that customers were excited to have the eclectic Fort Worth, Texas-based retailer back.

Starnes could not point to any particular product that was selling more than the others.

“It’s pretty much a little bit of everything,” she said.

Pier 1 sells a variety of imported items, including furniture, potpourri, candles, ornaments, decorations, artwork, dishes, cups, glasses, soaps, lamps, rugs, curtains, vases and wicker baskets.

Pier 1 is the second major retailer to open a store at the Maine Mall in as many months. York, Pa.-based department store chain Bon-Ton Stores Inc. opened a new location inside the mall in early September.

Other recent arrivals to the Maine Mall include The Paper Store and Clarks shoes and accessories, as well as food establishments Qdoba and Charlie’s Grilled Subs.

Pier 1, which previously had a store on Forest Avenue in Portland until 2005, has a second Maine location in Augusta.

The new 7,850-square-foot store is at 368 Maine Mall Road, in the Maine Mall parking lot next to Ulta Beauty.

On average, the store will have 15 to 17 employees throughout the year, Pier 1 officials said.

Regional manager Dana Grenier said the company decided to expand its presence in Maine and was fortunate to complete the opening in time for the busy winter retail months.

“Anytime you can open prior to the holiday season, it’s a benefit,” he said.

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 207-791-6390 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: @jcraiganderson

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