Following a decade of store after store closing shop at Suncoast Mall on Highway 21 in Goderich, the shopping centre received a jolt of life Nov. 24 when Hart Stores opened its doors to the public.
Over 50 people were waiting inline Thursday morning for the grand opening, which was attended by Goderich mayor Kevin Morrison who said that bringing the store to town was the culmination of a lot of hard work by council and town staff.
“This is a great thing for the town of Goderich. We’ve been working hard to bring new business and new employment to the community. It doesn’t happen overnight,” the mayor told The Signal Star following the ribbon cutting ceremony.
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Hart’s decision to move to Goderich, he said, showed a commitment to the town that he appreciates.
“Thanks for believing in us. Thanks for choosing Goderich,” he said.
He said what really stood out to him about the store that morning was the staff was cheerful.
He then said before the doors were flung open that morning he had a chance to speak with Hart’s staff, “and one lady put up her hand, one of the staff members, and said, ‘we want to thank Hart for bringing jobs to Goderich.’ And you know, that says it all. People are excited about this. I think it’s going to be a great thing for the community. And I think it’s the beginning of what’s to come.”
John Pinkerton, western regional sales and operational manager for Hart, said it took about eight months from deciding on Goderich to opening the 30,000-square-foot store.
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“We’re really pleased to be part of the historic town of Goderich. It’s a beautiful community, for sure. We are. We are very pleased to be a part of the community,” he said.
He said they decided on Goderich because there was an opportunity here.
“The town was missing a lot of retail,” he said. “There was some here but we saw it as an opportunity.”
Morrison said that this is the first step of more to come.
“We’re getting a lot of interest in Goderich. And I think you’re going to see a lot of growth coming up in the months ahead,” he said.
Hart has a staff of 27 employees.
Source: Goderich Signalstar