KENNEWICK -- Columbia Center mall in Kennewick soon will add two more places to shop.
"Both are new to the Tri-Cities," said Kim Harvey, director of marketing and business development for the mall.
On March 4, Harvey announced on facebook.com that the mall was getting Vans, a sports shoe and apparel store, and challenged readers to guess the second store.
As of March 8, no one had, until word leaked out through the new store's wall on facebook.com. It's DownEast Basics, a women's apparel and accessories store, with headquarters in Salt Lake City.
Harvey said DownEast Basics should open near Sears in May.
"This will be only the second one in Washington. The other is in Spokane," she said.
In the meantime, you can see what DownEast Basics has to offer at www.downeastbasics.com.
As for Vans, the best estimate for opening is June 1, said Chris Overholser, senior communications manager for the company with headquarters in Cypress, Calif. It will be near the food court.
Vans merchandise is "all rooted in boardsports and bikes, skateboarding, snowboarding, windsurfing, BMX and motocross, wakeboards," he said. "Its great to find an area with such a cultural fit for us (as the Tri-Cities)."
Vans stores carry a mix of footwear and clothing for men, women, boys and girls. They also have shoes for toddlers and infants. You won't find Nike, Reebok or Adidas shoes because Vans stocks 98.9 percent of its own brands, Overholser said.
Vans opened as a sports shoe company in 1966 but really got its start a few years later when it became known as a skateboard shoe company, Overholser said.
That was in the 1970s, when skateboarding was in its infancy. Two of the first skateboarding professionals, Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta of Santa Monica, Calif., asked the designers at Vans to build special shoes for their team.
"They went on to become legendary skateboarders and made names for themselves nationwide," Overholser said. "That was almost 40 years ago, and Tony is still helping to promote Vans and the sport. Stacy went on to make skateboarding films."
As a result, Vans stores are decorated with displays and memorabilia of great skateboarders.
There now are more than 230 Vans stores in the United States, mostly in California and Arizona. But in the past five years, Vans has been expanding into coastal metropolitan areas of Oregon and Washington.
The company also has a few stores in Texas, Florida, New York and New Jersey.