Boscov’s kicks off West Virginia grand opening celebration with Charity Day shopping as thousands flock to see new store in Bridgeport’s Meadowbrook Mall
- by Charles Young SENIOR STAFF WRITER THE EXPONENT TELEGRAM
BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. (WV News) — The line to get into the Boscov’s location at Meadowbrook Mall on Thursday stretched down the sidewalk in both directions, filled with hundreds of shoppers eagerly waiting to be among the first inside the area’s newest department store.
Each of those in attendance paid $5 for a shopping pass that allowed them to participate in the store’s Charity Day. All the proceeds from the sale of the passes will benefit 175 local nonprofits.
“I’m absolutely thrilled,” said Jim Boscov, chairman and CEO of Boscov’s. “Certainly, it’s great to have a store full of people, but this is Charity Day. These are people who donated $5 to their favorite charity.”
Boscov had a very busy morning, which included greeting customers as they lined up outside and making periodic announcements over the store’s intercom system.
“People who have never seen us before are saying, ‘Wow, you guys really have everything.’ It’s a big store,” he said. “As busy as we are, we have about 220 co-workers that we’ve hired right from the area, plus we have another 150 that we’ve asked to come down from our other stores to help out. We’ve got lots of people to offer service.”
Wendy Imperial, a Bridgeport resident, said she’s been anticipating the opening of Boscov’s for several months.
“I walk every morning up here at the mall, so I’ve been watching the progress of stores moving and then this being built. I’m just thrilled that the day is finally here,” she said.
Imperial said she’s glad the mall was able to secure another anchor retailer after years of seeing stores move or relocate.
“So many times you see malls that are becoming obsolete. It’s so sad to see that square footage get emptied,” she said. “This is going to be an absolute boost in the arm of our community. All of the surrounding retailers are going to benefit from it. And we’re just thrilled that they chose this mall to come to and open a new store.”
Imperial used Boscov’s Charity Day to get a jump on her holiday shopping.
“I looked for some of the ‘door buster’ deals — I got some flashlights that I was looking for and then saw these that were on sale,” she said, holding up a decorative throw blanket. “I’m heading to women’s clothes to look at some things there that I’ve seen through the window as I’ve been walking.”
Harley Jeffries, a Bridgeport resident, said he’d also heard a lot about the Boscov’s opening.
“We’d been hearing about it for a while. It’s been underway and under construction. We’re always anxious — we’re a bunch of lookie-loos — to come see what’s what and what’s going on with the store and what all they have,” Jeffries said.
Thursday’s events kicked off Boscov’s Three-Day Grand Opening Celebration.
Friday will be Family Fun Day, featuring free family activities and entertainment. It will be the first opportunity for members of the public who didn’t purchase a Charity Day pass to shop in the store.
On Saturday, starting at 9:30 a.m., the Bridgeport High School marching band will kick off a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Brad Riffee, executive director of the United Way of Harrison and Doddridge Counties, and representatives of United Way member agencies will cut a special ribbon made of $100 bills for the agencies, plus a $1,000 bill for the United Way itself.
Saturday shoppers also can take in performances by Elvis Aaron Presley Jr., and Jason Lindsey, aka “Mr. Science.”
Senior Staff Writer Charles Young can be reached at 304-626-1447 or email@example.com