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Appliance store opens in Centre at Hagerstown

April 22, 2010|By DAN DEARTH
  • Andrew Williams of Hagerstown reads a sales flier as he waits for the new hhgregg appliance store in the Centre at Hagerstown.
Ric Dugan, Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN -- Boonsboro resident Laura Schnackenberg said she gets a boost of encouragement when a new business opens in hard economic times.

On Thursday, Schnackenberg was the first customer to make a purchase at the grand opening of the hhgregg appliance store in the Centre at Hagerstown.

"It's good to see any business in here not sitting empty," said Schnackenberg, who purchased a 13.3-inch television.

About 200 people entered hhgregg within the first hour of the 3 p.m. grand opening to take advantage of sales on items that ranged from camera bags to wide-screen televisions.

The Hagerstown hhgregg was among eight locations the chain opened Thursday in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia, said Ron Graves, the store's general manager.

Graves said 60 local residents were hired to operate the hhgregg in Hagerstown. He said those jobs include cashiers, managers, warehouse workers and salespeople, who can earn as much as $100,000 a year in salary and commissions.

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"The opportunities are great," Graves said.

According to information provided by hhgregg, the company operates 139 stores in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Graves said hhgregg hopes to increase its number of stores to about 500 within the next five years.

Hagerstown resident Andrew Williams and Dennis Embly of Keedysville were among roughly 40 people who were waiting in a line outside the store before it opened.

The men said they were happy that hhgregg came to Hagerstown, if for nothing else, to increase competition and lower prices for consumers.

"I'm retired," Williams said. "Anytime I can save money, it's a good deal,"

Embly said he wanted to buy a Mustek digital-video camera that was on sale. He said he was going to give it to his son to document a trip to space camp later this summer in Alabama.

Some people didn't attend Thursday's grand opening to buy merchandise.

Hagerstown resident Jamie Kolbay said he was there to enter a drawing to win kitchen appliances worth $4,500.

"It would be nice," he said.

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