Everything from Shirley Anglin's home's custom draping to her glasses is a JCPenney product.
So when the Temple Hills resident got an invitation in the mail to check out today's grand opening of the JCPenney at the Woodmore Towne Centre in Glenarden, she was one of the first in the door.
Within minutes she had a box of Reebok sneakers in her clutches and was on the hunt for something casual in green.
"I'm preparing to go on the Tom Joyner [Fantastic Voyage] cruise so I'm looking for a special cruise outfit, something colorful," Anglin said.
Anglin, who usually shops at the Centre at Forestville JCPenney nearly nine miles away, attended the ribbon cutting for the county's newest and last anchor store to open at Woodmore following the fall 2010 openings of Best Buy, Wegmans and Costco. JCPenney will be open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Staffers lined the intersections of store aisles to greet customers and answer questions inside the approximately 96,000-square-foot store, which features a full-service Sephora beauty store, a portrait studio and designer brands such as Call It Spring by The Aldo Group. About 80 percent of the store's 142 employees are Prince George's County residents, said store manager Catherine Brodeur.
Starting in January, Brodeur said the company did a mass hire through the Internet and local newspapers, contacting local businesses, churches, schools and social organizations such as sororities to spread the word about the new location. Brodeur has been with JCPenney for 15 years and previously worked at Springfield Mall in Virginia.
"I love what I do so it's been pretty exciting to have a new store and start the careers of all these new associates," Brodeur said.
Associates went through five weeks of customer training in how to sell merchandise and work the cash register. Keona Collins of Lanham, a sales associate, said her favorite part is the children's section, which she helped stock with products including shoes, dresses and strollers.
"This is the most beautiful store and everybody in the world should want to come check it out," Collins said.
Councilwoman Andrea Harrison (D-Dist. 5) of Springdale said the store was originally planned to be two stories like the Forestville location, but JCPenney officials decided on a one floor model and worked with her office and Annapolis-based developer Petrie-Ross Ventures to rework the design.
Harrison said the store was beautiful and she was pleased with the percentage of county residents who are employed at the store. She also remarked on the store's efforts to go "green" with light-emitting diodes (LED) store lighting that burns at a lower wattage, low-flow bathroom faucets and office room sensor lights that shut off to conserve energy when no one is inside for an extended period of time.
"We're looking forward to all of the shoppers that will come over here," Harrison said.
Glenarden Mayor Gail Parker Carter said the city looks forward to building a strong partnership with JCPenney as well as all of the stores at Woodmore Towne Centre. Parker Carter said she usually shops at the JCPenney in Annapolis.
"I like to shop," Parker Carter said. "This is right in my backyard. I'll probably be spending a lot more money than I need to but I'm just so happy it's in my home."
Stephanie Love, a store manager at the Centre at Forestville location, said Wednesday that her location will be getting a full remodel starting no later than Sunday. The remodel will include a Sephora and a renovation of the store's portrait studio.
Love said the Forestville location is two stories and approximately 20,000 to 30,000 square feet larger than the Woodmore location.
"We'll hopefully be complete by back to school [season]," Love said. "It will be open for business. They'll start to see the store evolve in the next couple of weeks."