By KRISTY EPPLEY RUPON – krupon@thestate.com This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Harbison Boulevard is about to get even busier.

A new shopping center planned for Harbison at Park Terrace Drive will bring together some discount retailers who are new to the area – including the first DSW shoe store in South Carolina and a T.J. Maxx HomeGoods outlet – and others long in the Columbia market.

Discount retailers are hot now due to the weak economy, a trend that will continue, said Marianne Bickle, director of the Department of Retailing at the University of South Carolina.
“In the 1970s, shopping at a discount retailer meant you were poor,” she said. “Now, it means you’re smart.”

The new-to-the-Midlands retailers will join some retailers long in the market – including make-up store Ulta, a Firestone car-care center, Staples and McDonald’s – in a new shopping center to be located where some medical offices recently were demolished, according to a site plan submitted by developers to the city of Columbia. “They are for shoe-a-holics,” said USC’s Bickle. “I compare it to Starbucks for people who are snobs about coffee but without the price tag.”

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