ST. CLAIRSVILLE - Black Friday is still more than a month away, but thousands of eager shoppers packed into the new Boscov's Ohio Valley Mall anchor store Thursday as part of the company's preview event.
"It has been a long time since I have seen this many people at the mall," said Joe Jerico, a Boscov's customer who lives near St. Clairsville. "It's nice to have something new to attract people like this."
Customers eagerly marched through the aisles in search of bargains, while others climbed the escalator to sign up for charge accounts at the 170,000 square foot store. Still others went for chocolate pretzels and the like at Boscov's second floor candy counter.
INSIDE VIEW — Boscov’s customers ride the escalator from the second floor to the first floor Thursday at the Ohio Valley Mall’s new anchor store. -- Casey Junkins
Though the official grand opening is not until Sunday, Albert Boscov, chairman and chief executive officer, said the store will also opened for business at 10 a.m. today and will open again at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Those entering Boscov's on its first floor will find plenty of apparel, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, handbags and accessories. On the second floor, one will find a vast collection of furniture, domestics, small appliances, curtains, bedding and gifts.
Jerico and his wife, Michele, said they believe the store that employs about 250 workers will help bring more people to the mall. They said having a store such as Boscov's nearby will be nice so they don't have to travel as much.
St. Clairsville resident Lynda Check said she enjoys shopping at other places throughout the area, but is glad see such a nice store opening at the mall.
"This is all very nice," she said. "Plus, I think having it here is encouraging some of the other businesses to spruce up a little bit."
Check referred to ongoing remodeling at the 100,000 square-foot Macy's, which is just across the hallway. That store is seeing its first major renovations since it opened as Kaufmann's in 1979.
The project is ongoing as the store remains open for business.
Becky McGuire of McMechen made the most of her trip to Boscov's, as she and her friends stacked several packages inside the back of her vehicle.
"It's nice. I think we needed another department store in the area. It has a lot more stuff than most of the others," she said. "Usually, you would have to go to Pittsburgh to find curtains like that."
Myra Hughes of Bannock said she will likely become a loyal customer, noting she welcomes the addition to the mall.
"Going in, I was not really sure what the quality would be like. But I was very impressed to see so many name brands," she said.