provided to Santiva Chronicle
Friday, Nov. 20, marks the grand opening of “Ding” Darling’s Nature Store2 at 2250 Periwinkle Way on Sanibel Island, open to the public. The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce will do a ribbon cutting at 11 a.m., and the store will offer specials all weekend long. The “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge will operate Nature Store2, along with its original storefront and online store, to support wildlife and conservation at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.
While the flagship Refuge Nature Store in the “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center remains unable to open because it resides within a federal building that the government has mandated for closure, Nature Store2 will provide a storefront for selling books, clothing, jewelry, art, and other gifts to support the refuge. The space also will serve as a fulfillment center for the ShopDingDarling.com online store.
For the grand opening, the new location and online store promotes, Nov. 20-22, a 20 percent discount on all apparel for ladies, men, and kids, including t-shirts, sweatshirts, fleeces, and hats. Use the promotional code GRANDOPEN20 online to receive the discount.
Nature Store2 alone will also offer special prices on other select items, plus a free gift with any $25 or more purchase. Shoppers that weekend who sign up to receive DDWS’ weekly “Ding” on the Wing email bulletin will be entered for a chance to win prizes, which will be on display that weekend.
The new shop will also debut an exclusive Nature Store2 line of eco-friendly tote bags, backpacks, and gift bags made from durable and sustainable materials. Individually packaged “Ding” Darling snacks will be available for shoppers while supplies last.
Wearing masks and maintaining other CDC protocols, store staff and volunteers will assist shoppers with suggestions and purchases. Shoppers are required to wear a mask at all times while inside the store.
“The weekend is a good time to get a jump on holiday shopping, enjoy Sanibel’s latest unique shopping experience, and shop to support a good cause and driving economic factor on Sanibel Island,” said Ann-Marie Wildlife, nature store manager.
To extend DDWS’ refuge support mission, the new 1,500-square-foot store will feature a monitor streaming images of the wildlife, scenery, and available activities at the refuge. Although it will carry some of the same popular items available at the flagship store and ShopDingDarling.com, it will be more art-oriented.
“In this time of pandemic, outdoor spaces are our cure and safety net,” said Wildman. “By supporting the refuge’s nature store operations, shoppers are making a difference to an environment that is healthy in more ways than one.”