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Store opening set for Sept. 23

Ironton shoppers will not have to wait too much longer to see what’s behind the curtain at the city’s newest store.

Thursday, September 16, 1999

Ironton shoppers will not have to wait too much longer to see what’s behind the curtain at the city’s newest store.

Ames Department Stores Inc. officials will open the last of the 155 stores they acquired as part of a March merger with Hills Stores Co.

One of 20 Ohio stores, the Ironton Ames will open at 9 a.m. Sept. 23 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, said Kevin Roache, Ames public relations director.

"We are going to open 56 stores Sept. 23," Roache said. "There will be three days of special bargains and hoopla."

The 56 stores in eight states are the last of the 155 stores in 19 states the company recently purchased to open, Roache said.

And if past grand openings are any indicator, this ceremony should draw many customers to the Ironton area, he said.

"All these openings have had hundreds and thousands of people," Roache said. "They are all geared up for the special contests and discounts. They have a lot of prizes and celebrations going on for those three days."

Those attending the grand opening also will be amazed by the transformation the old Hills store has undergone, Roache added.

"The stores are a lot more wide open," he said. "You walk in and you see that it’s pretty open and easier to get around in with wider aisles. There also are bargain bins in the middle with new merchandise in them. We also have ready-to-assemble furniture and crafts are a big area for us."

Although the inside of the store might be new, the staff should be familiar, Roache said.

"We kept all the staff, or at least offered them all the opportunity to stay," he said.

Each store can employ about 100 people, however, and interested residents may pick up an application at the service desk of any converted store, Roache said.

"This is very good for economic development," he said. "Take Connecticut, for example. We’re opening seven stores, that’s like 700 new jobs."

And Ames corporate officials will never stop trying to bring jobs and growth to more areas, Roache added.

"I think we’re in a pretty good position to grow," he said. "And I think growth would be continuous. It would make sense for us to move a little west and south, and we have room to expand in Virginia. But there’s nothing definite yet."

Ames officials bought the Hills company because it made sense to do so at the time, Roache said.

"It was a good fit for us," he said. "It allowed us to expand into a place we weren’t in that had a good mix of urban and suburban populations. It was a good fit for us."