Initial customers enjoyed the new Gabe's store on Monroe Street in Sylvania Township.
In a quiet opening the day before its advertised grand opening, discount fashion retailer Gabe’s served its first customers in the Toledo area on Wednesday.
Liz Cooley of Monclova Township visited the store at 5223 Monroe St. next to the Target store, shopping with friends and purchasing gifts on her Christmas list.
“This is the first time I’ve been in a Gabe’s. I liked it ... I highly recommend it,” she said.
Although officials did not have a figure for the day's sales, the parking lot in front of the Sylvania Township store was full.
Gabriel Brothers, based in Morgantown, W.Va., operates 38 Gabe’s stores, as it does business, in Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and other states. The company has 15 locations in Ohio. This is the first store in metro Toledo.
Store manager Jennifer Tucker said the 42,700-square foot space has fitting rooms and is staffed for customer assistance. In addition, employees are easily identifiable by their khaki and blue polo uniform. The store is geared with merchandise for the holiday shopping rush.
“We have extra stations and a cue system, where the person cues the customer to the next register for a fast checkout,” she said.
Gabe’s sells a variety of products for up to 70 percent off department or specialty store prices, from greeting cards to shoes.
The retailer caters to women, men, juniors, and also offers petite or plus sizes for women, big and tall for men, baby clothing, and home decor. There is even an aisle dedicated to pets.
Stock is replenished two to three times a week, and about five during the holiday season. If customers " don’t find it this week, it may be in stores next week,” Ms. Tucker said.
Customer Kyle Meidt of Toledo was impressed with the store.
“The prices were good. You do have to watch quality in these places. But overall, the prices were cheaper for the good quality,” she said, showing off the fleece jacket she bought for $6.
In October, 150 people were hired through a job fair. Jamie Polk, 20, of Bedford Township, was one of them.
“I needed a job and decided to check it out. I’m glad I did. I’ve been working ever since,” he said.
At 8 a.m. Thursday, Gabriel Brothers will host a grand opening ceremony. The event will run until 10 p.m. and includes prizes, a raffle, food, and a D.J., along with family activities.
Gabe’s will be open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @natalietrusso.