Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 12, 2014

SALISBURY — Tired after carb-loading at Panera Bread?
Soon, you can trudge next door and buy a new mattress.
Mattress Firm, a mattress store at 317 Faith Road near Lowe’s, plans to open a second location next to Panera at 825 E. Innes St.
The new store should open this spring, according to an employee at the current location who did not want to be identified. The second store will employ three people, and job seekers can apply online at, the employee said.
With the addition of Mattress Firm, the Innes Street Station shopping center anchored by Kmart and Big Lots will be nearly full, said Ken McCoy, senior managing director of property services for Faison in Charlotte. McCoy said he will have one vacancy left — 19,000 square feet on the west end of the renovated Office Depot building that now houses a scaled-down version of the office supply store and a new Big Lots, which relocated from the former Salisbury Mall.
Despite early speculation that Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts would move into the Office Depot building with Big Lots, the fabric store is not coming to the shopping center, McCoy said.
“They did the numbers on the market, and they did not work for them at this time,” McCoy said. “There is no renewed interest from them.”
When Faison lands a tenant for the vacant space, the developer will build a new entrance beside Big Lots, he said. Faison is looking for a national credit tenant for the space.
A national credit tenant is a tenant that has been awarded an investment grade rating based on its size and financial strength from a credit rating agency like Moody’s, Fitch or Standard & Poor’s. An investment grade rating signals to property owners that a company will most likely continue paying rent, even in an economic downturn.
McCoy said the new Panera location, which opened a year ago to much fanfare, has been “doing very, very well.” Other than the final tenant and some additional parking lot improvements planned for this spring, the shopping center is complete, he said.
Rowan County issued a permit last week for the $55,000 Mattress Firm upfit, according to public records.
Mattress Firm often operates two locations in small cities, the employee said. It’s part of the company’s business strategy, he said.
The plan to expand was already in the works when Sleepy’s opened a new mattress store in the Wallace Commons shopping center near Kohl’s and the new Belk, he said.

Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.