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Bargain-hunters crowd Square’s new anchor store

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ABC Super Stores in Westchester Square is off to a banner start.

On its first day of operations, the Square’s new anchor store was full of curious shoppers.

Welcoming customers at 11 a.m. on Thursday, October 7 with a “soft opening,” the 18,000 square-foot ABC Superstore at 34 Westchester Square, the spot that was vacated last spring by Foot Locker, was greeted with a flood of shoppers purchasing men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, furniture, housewares, linens and toys. The store, which occupies floor space that had previously been the storeroom and warehouse for Foot Locker, was offering up bargains that many shoppers said they appreciated in a tough economic period.

President of the company Steven Sasson said that ABC Super Stores, which operates 10 locations in Brooklyn, Queens, and New Jersey and has been in business since 1965, is always on the lookout for large spaces in communities that have growth potential. The company’s management had been looking to expand to the Bronx, and Westchester Square was an opportunity that presented itself at the right moment.

“We have been looking for a place in the Bronx,” Sasson said. “The landlord was really interested in getting someone to take the whole space.”

Sasson said that the company takes advantage of its relative size to offer customers the best discounts available on all merchandise.

“We definitely focus on servicing the local community,” Sasson said. “If we can keep the local shopper in the neighborhood, then we have achieved our goal. We use promotional pricing and our size to buy at a cheaper price, and we pass those savings on to our customer. Our motto is ‘Savings for the whole family,’ and we try to put out products that they can save on.”

Sasson downplayed any comparisons to the previous anchor store, or to Woolworth’s, which he called “an American icon.”

The merchants in Westchester Square are hoping ABC will draw customers like Woolworth’s did for the Square before it closed in the 1990s. The new store will employ between 20 and 30 people.

For shoppers on ABC’s first day, it provided an opportunity to purchase relatively inexpensive clothing near where they live. Shopper Angel Cruz of Throggs Neck said that he is glad to see that he will have the opportunities to purchase clothing in the community again.

“It is good to have a store that sells clothing in Westchester Square, because many of the clothing stores in the area have disappeared,” Cruz said. “With this store, if we need clothing, we can come here and purchase it at the last minute.”

Shopper Lydia Maldonado said that for most of the clothing, the price is right.

“I like the prices,” she said.

“For instance, I usually purchase these jeans for $21 a pair and here they are $8 a pair. We need this kind of store in the area because we cannot afford high prices on clothing.”

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CNG: Community Newspaper Group