Watch Now: Rental business rebounds after Danville mall fire | Local business news

A Ballou Park business is on the mend after a fire in April damaged its previous location and forced the rental company to relocate.

“We’re trying to put it back together,” said Shana Luck, store manager at ColorTyme, during an interview at the business Monday morning.

The rental company offers appliances, furniture and other household items. Although the owner had to relocate the company, ColorTyme and its employees didn’t have to move very far.

Formerly located at 627 W. Main St. in Ballou Park Shopping Center next to Roses, ColorTyme is just a few doors down at 657 W. Main St. in the shopping center in a more visible place.

ColorTyme, a rental company at Ballou Park Mall, is rising from the ashes and rebuilding its business in a new location at the mall after a fire damaged its previous space on April 1. Employee Chris Dillard, left, and store manager Shana Uspeh work at the new location Monday.

John R. Crane, Register & Bee

In addition to being easier to find, the store also has more floor space — although it’s smaller than ColorTyme’s previous location. The business lost storage space and about 1,000 square feet overall, but gained more space to display its beds, sofas, lamps, televisions, washers, dryers and other products.

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“Actually, we have more [items] here from what we had before,” Luck said, adding that the store has sold a lot of products in the past few weeks.

The rental store is also increasing the number of customer accounts, she said. ColorTyme had nearly 600 accounts for customers renting items before the fire, but that number dropped to 547 after the incident, Luck said. It’s back to 581 now.

Plans for the new location include adding storage and office space, a new coat of paint inside and new carpet, she said.

“We still have a lot of work to build,” Luck said, adding that he doesn’t know what will become of ColorTyme’s former location.

The April 1 fire, which appeared to be intentional, caused the most severe damage to Roses, but three other businesses – Dollar General, ColorTyme and Charms – also suffered smoke, heat and water damage.

Charms has since moved to Piney Forest Road, and Dollar General and Roses have not reopened, Luck said.


Danville firefighters head back to the engine April 1 after making a quick tour of the scene of the Ballou Park Mall fire.

File photo

A juvenile started the Roses fire while his or her mother was shopping, Danville Fire Deputy Sheriff Richie Gill said in April. The youth then reported to officers that he smelled smoke and was later taken into custody.

ColorTyme has been owned by Jeffrey Tepper for 22 years.

The store had six employees just before the fire, but now has four. The business is looking to hire a full-time sales manager and a part-time delivery driver, Luck said.

One of the employees who stuck around said he wanted to keep working and help grow the store.

“I needed a job and I was just ready to see ColorTyme grow,” said Chris Dillard, 33, who handles client accounts for the business.

He calls customers who are late with their payments and also helps with sales and deliveries.

“It’s easy, and I like dealing with people,” Dillard said.

In the immediate aftermath of the fire just over three months ago, ColorTyme wasted no time getting back to business. Luck spent the week after the fire working from Tepper’s home, and Dillard knocked on customers’ doors. Luck said he wants to avoid unemployment.


ColorTyme, a rental company at Ballou Park Mall, is rising from the ashes and rebuilding its business in a new location at the mall after a fire damaged its previous space on April 1.

John R. Crane, Register & Bee

The business has been in its new location since the week after the fire. The owner pulled inventory from another store in Lynchburg for the Danville store, Luck said.

Good luck getting the word out that ColorTyme is back in business.

“To this day, a lot of people still don’t know we’re open,” Luck said.

ColorTyme gets help from its sister store, Rent-A-Center on Riverside Drive.

“If they don’t have something, they send customers to ColorTyme,” Luck said.

ColorTyme is open 9am to 7pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm on Saturdays and closed on Sundays.

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