By Michael Campbell, News Editor
9:08 a.m. | August 3, 2017
Updated: 7:46 p.m. | August 6, 2017
Editor’s Note: The article has been updated to reflect the Big Lots location in Colonial Heights has closed. According to a sign posted on the Boulevard location’s door, the Big Lots store has closed and customers are directed to visit the new location in Prince George opening on August 25 or the closest location along Jefferson Davis Highway in Chesterfield County.
PRINCE GEORGE – One of the county’s shopping assets is slated to have a brand new anchor store open up in August as Big Lots puts the finishing touches on their new home in Prince George.
Nearly four months since the county announced nationwide retailer Big Lots would be moving into The Crossings shopping center, the store is almost ready to open its doors during its formal grand opening on Friday, August 25.
In April, Deputy County Administrator Jeff Stoke announced that Big Lots had selected Prince George and the empty 51,000-square-foot space that served as the former home of Farmer’s Foods and Winn-Dixie as the latest location for the retailer and the second store in the immediate vicinity of The Crossings shopping center with a store in South Chesterfield already enjoying healthy foot traffic.
“Prince George County is pleased with Big Lots’ decision to grow in our community”, Prince George County Administrator Percy Ashcraft said following the April announcement. “We are fortunate that a publically recognized business such as Big Lots is able to showcase their new location in our pro-business environment. Big Lots will be an asset to our citizens and employment base.”
Including their new store in Prince George and a location in Chesterfield Chesterfield, Big Lots, based out of Columbus, Ohio, operates over 1,400 stores across over 45 states and employs over 35,000 associates in their stores.
A third location along the Boulevard in Colonial Heights has closed its doors, according to a sign posted on the windows of the store late last week.
As part of the project, Big Lots made a private investment to renovate the facility that previously served as a full-service grocery store and the shopping center’s owner, RCC Crossings, LLC and Hackney Real Estate also confirmed to county representatives their plans to upgrade several properties to complete the lease transaction.
One of those upgrades involves one of the other major tenants of The Crossings, Destination Theatre, who is currently expanding their theatre, moving into the former home of now-defunct rent-to-own store USA Discounters as their theatre grows in popularity among those living in the surrounding communities.
While sports tourism is a key part of the county’s economic development agenda, developing and enhancing Prince George’s commercial and retail presence is also in the forefront of the county’s plans.
Examples of this effort are evident along Interstate 95 and the Exit 45 corridor where grant funding from The Cameron Foundation helped finance a beautification project at one of the county’s key gateways, allowing for flowers and other plants to be planted along the exit leading into South Crater Road and two large, lighted spires that sure to welcome people into the area, which features a number of hotels, gas, and places to eat, including Prince George staple Nanny’s.
While touring the area, Stoke explained how long-term investments into areas like Exit 45 can serve to act as examples to a prospective retailer of a community’s commitment to the business community.
“We have attended numerous International Council of Shopping Center shows and directly approached vice presidents of real estate development for numerous companies to have them take a look at Prince George County,” Stoke said. “We are out there marketing this community using investments like the one at Exit 45 to show that the county government is behind the business community, we are going to support them and we are going to make the area look better so they can survive and thrive in their current business.”
Following April’s announcement, Stoke said the store expected to begin hiring during the summer and, according to the company’s website, they are accepting applications for part-time store associates and stockers who “performs general store operational duties including cashiering, customer service, truck unloading, stocking, merchandise recovery, and light cleaning or maintenance as assigned.”
Among the tasks required, store associates would “greets and assists customers as needed in order to maintain the highest level of customer service, maintains and operates point-of-sale systems efficiently and accurately, drive customer loyalty program participation, including sign ups and rewards processing at check-out, participate in the freight flow process including truck unloading, stocking, merchandise presentation and recovery, participates in furniture department operations including carry-outs and display assembly as needed, maintains appearance of the store’s interior and exterior to company standards including light maintenance duties and cleaning, perform daily front-end maintenance including check stand cleanliness, replenishment of merchandise and supplies and floor safety, and perform other tasks as assigned by Store Leadership, such as cart retrieval, shrink control and safety-related tasks.
According to their website, those qualified must have a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent work experience, be 18 years of age or older and possess strong customer service and communication skills.
Interested candidates would also need to be able to work a flexible schedule, including nights, weekends, and holidays, and be able to lift, carry, push, and pull a minimum of 50 pounds with previous cash register experience being preferred.
For full information on available openings at the new Big Lots store in Prince George or other locations in the region, visit http://biglots.com/corporate/careers.