Athens residents and Ohio University students gathered for the grand opening of the new Marshalls on Thursday.
Marshalls, 743 E. State St., is a chain of American off-price department stores owned by TJX Companies. TJX is also the parent company of TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, Homesense and Sierra.
Marshalls generally charges 20%-60% below retail prices on comparable merchandise, according to its website.
The store are able to offer these great values because of the flexible business model, strong vendor relationships and opportunistic buying strategies, according to their website.
The store is located in The Shoppes of Athens strip mall, where Sherwin-Williams and Goodwill were previously located.
About 60 new full- and part-time jobs will also open up because of the new store.
Maureen Wootton, an Athens resident, had never been to a Marshalls before and liked what she saw at the grand opening.
“I think it’s a really good store,” Wootton said. “I liked it and ended up getting a blouse. It’s nice because we just don’t have much to do here in town.”
Wooton said she thinks the store will give people more options when shopping and be a nice addition to Athens.
Justin Falkenbach, a 2018 OU graduate and Athens resident, was also at the grand opening. Falkenbach said he’s excited about the new store, but he is scared of spending the money.
“I think it’ll be really great for the community... especially in rural Appalachia, where it’s hard to find good clothing stores,” Falkenbach said. “People that live below the poverty line or struggle to make ends meet around here now have the opportunity to shop at a place that offers really good clothes at good prices.”
Falkenbach also thought the store was really clean for the grand opening and he thought there were plenty of staff to accommodate the large amount of people.
“I got through the checkout line in about five minutes, which really surprised me,” Falkenbach said. “I found plenty of things that I didn't really need.”
The store is within driving distance from OU and provides college students with a new place to shop for clothes, footwear, bedding, furniture, jewelry and beauty products.
Johanna Antonuccio, a junior studying retail merchandising and fashion product development, made the trip to Marshalls for the grand opening to look for sweaters and jeans.
“It’s super exciting that we have this now,” Antonuccio said. “I walked in and I felt like I was not in Athens anymore. We haven’t had a place like this for the longest time so it’s really awesome.”