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Some 'Prime' stores opening today

July 24, 1998|By SHEILA HOTCHKIN and LISA GRAYBEALs

Mall employees were washing windows, hanging up clothes, lining up shoes and training new workers Thursday at Prime Outlets in Hagerstown as a handful of its stores prepared to open today.

"We're ready to go," said Valerie Myers, director of field operations at We're Entertainment.

The store, which sells games and gadgets covering nearly every personal entertainment need, plans to open between noon and 2 p.m. today, Myers said.

Although the general grand opening is scheduled for Aug. 7, the mall allows the individual merchants to open starting today. Several plan to take advantage of that option, including Jockey, Samsonite, and Reebok/Rockport, according to store officials.

"It all boils down to business," said Jenny Anglin, a district manager from London Fog's Norfolk office who is helping to open the Hagerstown store. "The sooner you can open, the better."

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Anglin estimated Thursday that she would be in the store until 9 p.m., preparing for her store's anticipated opening today.

London Fog's crew of about a half-dozen employees began setting up the store Monday. By Thursday afternoon, the store was nearly complete.

Area manager Jane Stricker, who works out of Carroll County, Md., said they have been known to set up a store in two to three days when necessary.

"For us, there's pleasure in being able to say we opened it earlier than we had to," Anglin said.

Several stores down at Carter's, a woman was on her hands and knees scrubbing the wooden floors in preparation of the children's store's planned debut, less than 24 hours away.

"I don't even wash my own floors," she said.

The Nike Factory Store also plans to open its doors today, with a grand opening planned for Saturday. The first 1,000 people in the door at the grand opening will receive a commemorative gift.

Several others hope to open today, but declined to confirm their plans until they are definite.

Anglin was glad to hear that other stores also hoped to open early.

"If we were the only store open, it wouldn't be a great shopping experience for our customers," she said.

Outside the store Thursday, landscapers and maintenance employees watered plants and prepared the outside of the mall.

The Prime Outlet stores will be opening one by one between now and the mall's grand opening, including a number this weekend, said Alice Rosen, the mall's assistant general manager.

Lists will be posted each day in the mall to let customers know which stores are open, she said.

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