Make us your home page

Container Store opens to enthusiastic crowds in Tampa

Happle containers and Lego boxes are piled on shelves at the Container Store at 4720 W Spruce St. in South Tampa.


Happle containers and Lego boxes are piled on shelves at the Container Store at 4720 W Spruce St. in South Tampa.

TAMPA — Jana Bailey started shopping at the Container Store as a pre-teen. She had boxes for her hair clips, boxes for her jewelry and boxes for her stickers.

When she went to college, she bought boxes for under her bed and totes for her toiletries. Then came marriage, a baby and more boxes.

Thirty years later, her lifelong passion for organization paid off when she was crowned "Super Fan'' of the Container Store in Tampa, which opened Saturday at 4720 W Spruce St., across from International Plaza. The store is the first in the Tampa Bay area and third for Florida.

"If you have an organizational gene you get very excited about this store,'' said Bailey, 42, of St. Petersburg, who got to be first in line. "I can't wait.''

As the store's "Super Fan'' Bailey received a $250 shopping spree and box full of store goodies. Employees cheered as she walked into the store pushing a golden shopping cart and wearing a crown and sash.

The Dallas-based chain chooses a "Super Fan'' for every store opening based on essays from customers stating why they love the store. Officials said Bailey won based on her longtime devotion and the fact that her entire family share her organizational enthusiasm.

Her mother, Mary Lou Hadley, who came to the opening with Bailey's husband and daughter, hasn't met a box she can't find a use for. She even arranges her gift wrap bows in colored-coded boxes.

"I'm a little over the top,'' she said, laughing.

That quest for order filled the store as shoppers hunted for the perfect pencil box, belt holder and sandwich keeper. Joy and Jarod Williams of Tampa had never been to a Container Store but heard all the buzz and wanted to check it out. Like many shoppers, they found things they never knew they needed, like a sealable bag for their suitcase, essentially a bag for a bag.

"They have every type of hook, every type of box you can imagine,'' Joy said, giddy at the possibilities. "We'll be here a lot."

For many fans, the store's arrival was a long time coming. Loretta Harjers of Clearwater said she goes to the store in New York City once a year and was thrilled to hear a location was opening in Tampa, the 59th store nationwide. Can a bunch of boxes change her life? Oh, yeah.

"It makes you feel like your house is in order,'' she said, noting that order means less clutter but also peace of mind.

Her friend, Mary Monelle of Seminole, said she can always find something she needs, a trait the store is banking on.

The grand opening festivities continue today with store raffles and $15 gift cards for anyone who spends $100.

Ten percent of all weekend sales will go to the Junior League of Tampa, a volunteer group devoted to helping local children and families.

Container Store opens to enthusiastic crowds in Tampa 03/16/13 [Last modified: Saturday, March 16, 2013 10:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. 'Road to Nowhere' is back: Next phase of Suncoast Parkway coming


    Despite intense public opposition and dubious traffic projections, the Florida Department of Transportation has announced that construction of the toll road known as "Suncoast 2" is expected to start in early 2018.

    The Suncoast Parkway ends at U.S. 98 just south of Citrus County. For years residents have opposed extending the toll road, a project dubbed the "Suncoast 2" into Citrus County. But state officials recently announced that the Suncoast 2 should start construction in early 2018. [Stephen J. Coddington  |  TIMES]
  2. A sports rout on Wall Street


    NEW YORK — Sporting goods retailers can't shake their losing streak.

  3. Grocery chain Aldi hosting hiring event in Brandon Aug. 24


    BRANDON — German grocery chain Aldi is holding a hiring event for its Brandon store Aug. 24. It is looking to fill store associate, shift manager and manager trainee positions.

  4. Lightning owner Jeff Vinik backs film company pursuing global blockbusters


    TAMPA — Jeff Vinik's latest investment might be coming to a theater near you.

    Jeff Vinik, Tampa Bay Lightning owner, invested in a new movie company looking to appeal to a global audience. | [Times file photo]
  5. Trigaux: Look to new Inc. 5000 rankings for Tampa Bay's future heavyweights


    There's a whole lotta fast-growing private companies here in Tampa Bay. Odds are good you have not heard of most of them.


    Kyle Taylor, CEO and founder of The Penny Hoarder, fills a glass for his employees this past Wednesday as the young St. Petersburg personal advice business celebrates its landing at No. 25 on the 2017 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the country. Taylor, still in his 20s, wins kudos from executive editor Alexis Grant for keeping the firm's culture innovative. The business ranked No. 32 last year. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]