Cato, women’s fashion retail chain, opens newest store in Norton Shores –

NORTON SHORES, MI – Women in the Muskegon area now have another option when it comes to shopping for trendy clothing.

Cato, a leading retailer of value-priced women’s fashion apparel, jewelry, shoes and accessories, opened a new store in the Lakeshore Market Place, 5335 Harvey St. in Norton Shores, on Nov. 20. The 3,391-square-foot space features fashion styles in sizes 6 to 26.

Rachel Wilcox, district manager for Cato, described the store as having “upscale, nice clothes that are modest.” The store offers casual styles for school and work but also has dressier fashions for church and business.

Wilcox feels the atmosphere in the store makes it the perfect place for its target market to shop, regardless of age.

“It’s a nice getaway for women,” Wilcox said. “They come here and don’t have to worry about men. They can shop with their friends and family and relax.”

RELATED: Sparrow Boutique aims to bring additional fashion options to Muskegon area

Cato, which is headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., was founded by Wayland Henry Cato in 1946. Stores were primarily located in the southwestern U.S., but have since expanded north. There are now 14 stores in Michigan, including the new Norton Shores location.

The Norton Shores store held a soft opening on Nov. 17 and its grand opening on Nov. 20. So far, reception has been largely positive.

As part of its grand-opening celebration, the first 250 customers to spend at least $30 will receive a complimentary Cato tote bag.

The store currently employs seven people. Its managers are hoping the store will offer an additional trendy fashion option to the Muskegon area.

“It’s very affordable,” Wilcox said. “Some women may get intimidated because they think we’re going to be a very-high priced store because of the way it looks. We’re not at all; we have great prices. Once they come in and see that, then they’re back.”

According to store manager Cindy Bellefeuil, a Muskegon native, the most expensive item in the store is about $40.

“A woman could come in here and get an entire outfit for under $100,” she said.

Cato also offers 30-day layaway and online shopping. Including its sister stores “Versona” and “It’s Fashion,” there are more than 1,300 locations in 32 states.

The Norton Shores store is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Brandon Champion covers arts and entertainment, business, sports and weather for MLive Muskegon Chronicle. Email him at and follow him on Twitter @BrandonThaChamp.


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  • Fashion and Style