Marshalls set to open Thursday at OV Mall
By JANELL HUNTER
Times Leader Staff Writer
ST. CLAIRSVILLE — The highly anticipated grand opening of Marshalls department store at the Ohio Valley Mall is set for Thursday morning.
The event begins at 7:30 a.m. Thursday with a Habitat for Humanity donation and a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 8 a.m. Entertainment will be provided by the St. Clairsville High School Marching Band.
The first 200 shoppers will receive a free doughnut and coffee.
For children, the Belmont County Sheriff’s Department will have a car on site for a “Touch a Car” event from noon to 2 p.m., and there will be face painting and balloon-twisting as well.
Mall officials, Belmont County government officials and the St. Clairsville Area Chamber of Commerce all said they are excited about the new store coming into the area. Marshalls was acquired by parent company TJX Companies Inc. in 1995 and, together with T.J. Maxx and other brand names, forms the largest off-price apparel and home fashions retailer in the United States. Marshalls has 1,043 stores across 46 states.
According to its website, TJX Cos. ranks No. 87 in the 2017 Fortune 500 listings, with more than $33 billion in revenue in 2016, more than 3,800 stores in nine countries and about 235,000 associates employed.
Ernie Herrman, CEO and president of the TJX Cos. Inc. stated in a recent press release regarding the company’s second quarter earnings, “Customer traffic was up and was the primary driver of our … store sales growth at every division and overall merchandise margin was up, which we see as excellent indicators of the fundamental strength, consistency and flexibility of our business. … Looking ahead we see exciting opportunities for our business in the second half of the year.”
The second half of the year looks good for the Ohio Valley Mall, too, according to Marketing Director Candi Noble-Greathouse.
“We are really excited about having Marshalls in the mix, and we have three more stores opening up soon, including Division 1 Donuts, Sweet Treats by Carrie and Levin Furniture,” Noble-Greathouse said. “These openings will be perfect for quarter 3 activity that will lead into a successful holiday season.”
Belmont County Board of Commissioners President Mark Thomas said he appreciates the owner of the mall, The Cafaro Co., for its continued commitment to the retail market.
“We have developed a great business relationship with them going back many years, and I am personally proud to call them friends. They love the Ohio Valley Mall and, as a result, remain fully committed to filling every vacant space in it,” Thomas said. “With Marshalls’ addition, the Ohio Valley Mall and Belmont County remain a great and relevant regional retail draw to the tri-state area. They are a great retailer and fit for our market area, and I love the excitement being generated by its opening. We look forward to much success from the store as many people, especially women, have been talking positively about Marshalls entering the Belmont County retail market.”
Wendy Anderson, director of the St. Clairsville Area Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber has been working closely with Marshalls since the company decided to move to the mall property. She said the company will be a good partner for the community with charitable donations and economic development.
“This will put us on the map. To me it is huge,” Anderson said. “I see the advantage of being in the mall. Some people say it is old school, but it is a good place for business — safe for the kids, good for families. Economic development is thriving at the mall, and the new stores coming in, like BW3 and Marshalls and all the construction that is going on, demonstrates that. We need to stand behind the mall and help them.”
Anderson said the chamber is “making a lot of new moves” to promote economic activity, jobs and small businesses in St. Clairsville as well.
“Marshalls reached out to us for a list of small bakeries to use for their opening, and a list of places for charitable giving that would fit them,” Anderson said.
“They want to partner with small business, and that’s what the chamber is. Small business is what keeps St. Clairsville grounded, and Marshalls understands that.”