That's expected to change this week, as the Giant grocery store plans to open its doors to customers, as well as more than 100 employees. For some surrounding businesses, it's a long-anticipated improvement, accompanied by the hope of more foot traffic.
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"I still have customers coming in and asking, 'When did you open up?'" said Gregory Dopkowski, manager of Ace Hardware on Ebenezer Road, around the corner from the new Giant. "This store has been open six years."
Dopkowski said neighboring vacancies make it even harder to draw new customers.
To compensate for the Superfresh vacancy, businesses at the shopping center had received temporarily discounted rent—which will end with Giant's grand opening.
"We're hoping the new store helps. We'll see," Dopkowski said, adding that he plans to add "Ace Hardware" signs to the loading dock doors, within view of Giant's entrance.
Maurizio Illiano, owner of Italian Sensation, adjacent to the Giant, describes his business as "steady, but not great."
"We hope people stop by and get to know us," Illiano said, adding that several Giant employees in training have already visited his restaurant for lunch.
Chick-fil-A on Belair Road, in front of the Giant parking lot, has also already experienced more traffic from Giant employees, according to marketing director Valerie Wilson.
"We definitely have a good relationship with the people who work over there, and we've given them a lot of coupons," Wilson said.
Giant management was not immediately available to comment on the anticipated impact of the new store. Company officials, however, confirmed the planned grand opening celebration was on schedule for Aug. 23, between 5-8 p.m.