LAURINBURG — Though the sales floor is now empty but for bare shelves and clothing racks, the Roses Express store being installed in the former Winn-Dixie building on U.S. 401 is well on its way to opening.
“October 1 is the day where we’re going to really show the town what we’ve got,” said Brian Wells, a district manager with Roses Express’ parent company Variety Wholesalers.
The store will offer a wide assortment of merchandise from electronics and snack items to clothing for men, women, and children.
“We are a mass merchant, of course not as big as Walmart, but one of our strengths is apparel,” Wells said, adding that Roses Express shoppers are usually spared a long wait in a checkout line.
Roses Express will join more than 300 Variety stores — including Super Dollar, Roses, and Maxway — from Pennsylvania to Florida and as far west as Louisiana, including similar stores in Raeford and in Bennettsvile, South Carolina.
A fire last November destroyed the company’s downtown Super Dollar store on Cronly Street. At 28,000 feet, Roses Express will be much larger than the Super Dollar and will employ 40 people — including those who worked at the old store. Still the Roses Express brand is about half the size of a typical Roses store.
“When the store burnt down, we sent those folks to our other stores so they wouldn’t lose their jobs, with the intention that when we opened up here they could come back,” said Wells.
“The response we’ve gotten from the local public has been: can’t wait, glad you’re back, when do you open — folks are excited.”
The store should receive merchandise before the end of the month, and may open for business in September before an Oct. 1 grand opening.
“We will actually set up the store with Christmas, so when you walk in, you’ll see Christmas trees and Christmas wrap,” said Wells. “Christmas is a great time in this kind of business; we’ll have a lot of toys, a lot of Christmas, it’ll be very exciting.”
Roses Express will be next to the new location of Save-a-Lot Food Store, in a building left vacant by Winn-Dixie 12 years ago.
“The construction guys have done an amazing job; this place was trashed,” said Wells. “This thing sat empty a long time.”
Roses Express will be open for business from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.
Roses Stores, owned and operated by Variety Wholesalers, Inc. The company is based in Henderson.
Mary Katherine Murphy can be reached at 910-506-3169.