Lowe's opens IL store

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By Chris Sardelli

INDIAN LAND – After months of construction, the new Lowe’s in Indian Land opened for business last week.

Located at U.S. 521 and S.C. 160, the store held a “soft” opening May 20, when customers were allowed to shop for the first time.

The store will celebrate its formal grand opening Thursday, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m., followed by an open house.

Rick Nichols, a manager at the store, said the soft opening attracted some customers who were intrigued by the new store.

“We’ve been very busy,” Nichols said. “There are lots of people that are very excited.”

Nichols said the grand opening will feature a raffle for prizes, as well as several vendors promoting their wares. At the opening, Lowe’s will also match all gift card sales up to a total of $5,000 as a donation to Habitat for Humanity.

The “soft” opening was preceded May 19 by a Family Night, where new employees visited the store with their families.

“The employees brought their families to the store to see what everyone had accomplished. It was a wonderful event,” Nichols said. “We had so many people; it turned out we had the best sales of any employee night.”

The 103,000-square-foot store will have a 31,000-square-foot garden center.

Spokeswoman Karen Cobb said the store is a $12 million investment and will create 120 new jobs, the majority of them full time.

The store’s hours are Monday through Saturday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Founded in 1946, Lowe’s has grown from a small hardware store in North Carolina to the second-largest home improvement retailer worldwide and the seventh-largest retailer in the United States.

The company went public in 1961, and began trading on the New York Stock Exchange in 1979.

Lowe’s opened 120 new stores in 2008, and expects to open 60 to 75 stores in 2009.

According to the company’s Web site, Lowe’s operates more than 1,650 stores in the United States and Canada and has almost 230,000 employees.

Lowe’s carries appliances, tools, paint, lumber, nursery products and more.

Contact reporter Chris Sardelli  at csardelli@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 416-8416