ST. MARYS — Throngs of shoppers filed into the newest retail addition to the St. Marys business landscape Sunday.
Kohl’s opened Sunday to packed check-outs and a flurry of shoppers browsing racks and displays. The retailer, which is located adjacent to Kroger, is just the latest addition to the business lineup in the city.
“Customers seem to be turning out in droves,” store manager Rick Folz told The Evening Leader. “We opened at 9 a.m.”
Once construction crews wrapped up their portion, Folz said a staff of more than 100 people went to work on the inside of the store to get it ready. After seven weeks, the store was ready to welcome its first customers.
“We brought in 130 associates to take it from the ground up,” Folz said. “When we entered the building the only things that were here were fixtures. This team has done all the signage, the graphics, stocking shelves — they have done a phenomenal job. It’s taken a long time but it’s been well worth it.”
As a steady stream of shoppers flowed through the doors, Folz said all the comments he heard were positive. Even during the hiring of associates, Folz noted people wanted to know when the store would open.
“They have been excited,” Folz said. “We had a bunch of people here this morning waiting for us. We had a line and this isn’t our grand opening, it’s our soft opening, so with the line of people we had this morning we are expecting a great turnout for our grand opening.”
Kohl’s will hold its grand opening starting at 6:45 a.m. Wednesday with a ribbon-cutting. From there, Folz said the day will feature specials sales for customers.
“The mayor will be here to help us cut the ribbon,” Folz said. “It will just be a lot of fun. Kohl’s is a fun store to be in and there will be a lot of energy. It should be a good time.”
The 64,000 square foot shop also is a prototype in the Kohl’s chain. Folz said the store includes features that are not found at any other location in the region.
“This store will have the electronic signing,” Folz said. “Departments are broken up more so there are actual departments instead of an open floor plan. We are the only store in our company that has our new beauty features. It’s just those little tweaks here and there. We are an innovation store. We’ll be the test for a lot of these things.”
The electronic signage allows prices to be changed via a computer, eliminating the need for paper signs.
“They will all switch over,” Folz said. “Kohl’s is all about energy conservation and going green. So for us, we don’t have any signs. There are no paper signs so we can constantly update them. So when the time hits and we have an early bird special, it will change over and it’s instant.”