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Annalee Dolls settles into its new location

Outlet manager Ruth Collins shows off some of the store’s new features. Erin Plummer. (click for larger version)
September 15, 2010
MEREDITH — Annalee Dolls are now on the shelves at their new outlet store in the former Jackson's Star Market location and steadily drawing old and new customers.

The new Annalee outlet at the Old Province Common on Route 104 opened on Sept. 3 following a move from its original home on Reservoir Road.

The Annalee Complex has been purchased by the Winnipesaukee Playhouse, which is now working on an extensive project to expand its campus across the property.

The outlet remained open as construction took place on the playhouse project. The company announced earlier this year that it would move to the space once occupied by Jackson's Star.

Pete Pelletier, creative director for Annalee Mobilitee Dolls, said the company is now working on moving its corporate offices to the new location in about a month.

Pelletier said the move to the new location went smoothly.

"We got a bunch of people after hours to stay a little later, we got some pizza, rented a U-Haul," Pelletier said. "Luckily it's so close it wasn't too difficult."

Since its opening, the new store has been given a warm reception by customers.

"People really like the new store, there's so much natural light that comes in," Pelletier said. "It's great, all the employees (have noted) how open it is and how spacious."

Outlet manager Ruth Collins has been working for Annalee for 26 years. She ran the shipping department for 23 years and in recent years has been managing the outlet. Collins said she is quite happy with the new location.

"I love it, it's bright, the parking is very accommodating," Collins said. "We'll be able to get buses in here now without a problem. The visibility is really great."

The dolls are lined up on shelves. Near the cash registers is a series of cases displaying classic dolls as museum pieces, a collection that will likely be added to.

The new store has more features for customers, such as a Santa throne people can sit in and a plywood board painted with Annalee characters that people can stick their heads through for photos.

Collins said business has been staying about the same. The location has attracted new customers, including people stopping in who have never heard of Annalee Dolls. Collins said the repeat customers have been excited about the new location.

"I think it's a great sign because business is still good, people are still interested in us. It's a really positive thing," Collins said. Despite the economy, "To have people still interested in us and still buying, it's great."

Pelletier said the large frontage of the former Jackson's Star space has worked nicely for the needs of the company.

Pelletier said the company plans to make Blankie Bears, bears out of children's blankets, on the opposite side of the outlet. Pelletier said a big window might be open so people outside can see the bears being made.

The new Annalee Dolls outlet is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Martin Lord Osman
Brewster Academy
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