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Lowe's moving into new superstore

January 13, 1997

By JULIE E. GREENE

Staff Writer

Lowe's new $12 million superstore will open Wednesday morning across Wesel Boulevard from the current store, which was to close its doors Monday night, company officials said.

Neither store will be open for business today, to give workers a chance to transfer customer files from the old store at 1501 Wesel Blvd. to the new store at 1500 Wesel Blvd., said spokeswoman Cinny Haynes.

Lowe's will hold grand opening festivities at the new store from Thursday through Sunday. In place of a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Lowe's will hold a board-cutting ceremony Thursday at 10 a.m. During the ceremony a 2-by-4 will be sawed in half, company officials said.

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The new store will open to customers Wednesday at 7 a.m., Haynes said.

Grand opening events include a number of activities, such as chainsaw woodcarving, and free water testing on Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The first 100 customers on Thursday will be given six-inch planters.

The new store will employ about 220 people, about 100 more than the old store did, store officials said.

The store that is closing opened in November 1991.

The superstore is "a response to what our customers are telling us they want and need in a home center," Haynes said.

Ten years ago, the average Lowe's store would have contained more than 14,000 different items and had an average square footage of 25,000 square feet, she said.

Each of the 60 new stores Lowe's will open during its current fiscal year, which ends Jan. 31, will have more than 40,000 different items, more than 100,000 square feet of indoor sales floor space and 20,000 to 30,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space for lawn and garden supplies, she said.

The local 160,000-square-foot Lowe's superstore includes 120,000 square feet of sales floor and 30,000 square feet for a lawn and garden area, which includes a 6,300-square-foot glass greenhouse, Haynes said.

The bigger superstores are Lowe's response to the Baby Boomer generation, which is reaching its peak earning potential while living in aging houses, Haynes said. They will be interested in do-it-yourself repairs and remodeling, she said.

A traffic signal is to be installed at the entrance to the new Lowe's off Wesel Boulevard by June 1, said Hagerstown Assistant City Engineer Rodney Tissue.

The traffic signal was requested by city officials when they approved the proposal for the new store, Tissue said.

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