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Retail stores to open in Martinsburg center

May 03, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- Five Below, a Philadelphia-based discount retailer that targets the teen market, will open its first store in West Virginia this summer at The Commons shopping center just outside the city of Martinsburg, a spokeswoman said last week.

"We're targeting a mid-August opening," marketing manager Elizabeth Romaine said.

Five Below is expected to join retailers Bed Bath and Beyond, Best Buy, Books A Million, Dick's Sporting Goods, Michaels, PetSmart, Staples, T.J. Maxx and Target, which are expected to open in the coming months at the shopping center off Exit 12 of Interstate 81.

Target will celebrate the grand opening of its sixth store in West Virginia on July 26, spokeswoman Anna Anderson said. The doors will open at 8 a.m., she said.

Five days before the grand opening, Target will hold a VIP shopping opportunity for newly hired team members, their guests and local officials who helped make the project possible, Anderson said.

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The new Target is expected to be about 128,000 square feet and include a Starbucks coffee shop, pharmacy and enhanced food section, Anderson said.

The company expects to hire 150 to 250 people through a job fair, which will be advertised in the coming weeks, Anderson said.

On July 25, PetSmart officials will celebrate the grand opening of its second store in West Virginia, spokeswoman Jessica Douglas said. PetSmart's other West Virginia store is in Charleston, she said.

The 20,087-square-foot store's arrival is expected to create 35 jobs and will feature a full-service veterinarian clinic and pet grooming salon, Douglas said.

Best Buy spokeswoman Erin Bix said the company expects to create about 100 full- and part-time jobs at its 30,000-square-foot store, which will be Best Buy's fourth in West Virginia.

An opening date was not available, she said.

Bed Bath & Beyond spokeswoman Lauren R. Flanagan could only say its Martinsburg store would open at The Commons this summer and did not have a grand opening date available. She said the company would not release employment numbers for the 21,000-square-foot store.

Amy Shanler, public relations director for Staples, said its store, which will be about 18,000 square feet, is slated to open in March 2010.

Officials with Dick's Sporting Goods, T.J. Maxx, Books A Million and Michaels could not be reached for comment.

Shopping center developer AIG Baker Development LLC is "very pleased" with the progress of construction and leasing at the 45-acre shopping center off Apple Harvest Drive, John Abernathy said in an e-mail Friday.

Residents will see most of the site work, as well as the building exterior for the anchor stores, completed by June 1, Abernathy said.

"Most of the retailers will be doing their interior work and stocking during June and July," Abernathy said.

Abernathy said he expected all of the stores, except for Staples, to open this summer. The project initially was proposed as a 430,000-square-foot shopping center and prompted the installation of a new traffic signal just west of exit 12 off I-81 on Apple Harvest Drive.

Since Five Below opened in October 2002 in Wayne, Pa., the chain has grown to more than 80 locations, with stores in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, according to the company.

The retailer caters to teens and the "young at heart," offering merchandise for $5 or less, including games, fashion accessories, bath-and-body items, candy, beverages, room décor items, stationery and school supplies.

"It's a really fun store," Romaine said.

Romaine said the company was aware that a number of the customers at its Hagerstown location at the Shoppes at Hagerstown were traveling from West Virginia. Five Below hopes to open its 7,500-square-foot store in time for back-to-school shopping, she said.

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