Michael’s, Petco now open
Published 10:11 pm Monday, February 22, 2016
It’s a week of new openings in North Suffolk, where Michael’s Arts and Crafts near Harbour View had customers lined up outside the door before Sunday’s grand opening and Petco is hoping to draw a similar-sized crowd for its opening festivities this weekend.
Petco, a 12,500-square-foot pet store that offers grooming, opened to shoppers on Monday, according to General Manager Colin Guerrero. Throughout the day, shoppers — including some with their dogs — popped in to check out the store.
“This week gives us an opportunity to make sure our processes are running smoothly and efficiently so there won’t be any hiccups on Saturday,” Guerrero said.
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Petco will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Guerrero said. As customers wandered through the aisles of dog toys, pet foods, and fish and aquarium decor on Monday, several said they were a little surprised when they saw the new pet store was open.
Walking out the door with a feathered cat toy, Susanne and Bobby Hickman of Walters in southern Isle of Wight County, said they expect the new stores in the Hampton Roads Crossing shopping center to thrive and draw shoppers from across Western Tidewater.
“For many of us, this is the closest large shopping area to us,” said Bobby Hickman.
“Suffolk is growing … and I think it is good for the economy and good for individuals in this community.”
Citing corporate policy, a Michael’s assistant manager said she was not able to comment about the craft retailer’s grand opening.
But several customers, taking advantage of store opening discount coupons, said the new Michael’s in North Suffolk has more variety and selection than the recently shuttered store at nearby Chesapeake Square.
“I love it, love it, love it,” said shopper Darlene Cosner of Churchland, after investing $60 in beads and beading supplies. “I will look through catalogs and magazines for ideas, then I come here to buy beads and other supplies to make them.”
“I love their sales… and having them so close,” said Cosner. “It’s like having a new face in the neighborhood.”
While the new location wasn’t more convenient for her, Linda Brown of Western Branch said she doubts the extra distance will keep her out of the store.
“It’s certainly not any closer,” said Brown, browsing for decorating ideas for her mother’s 90th birthday party later this year. “I still love Michael’s … and this store does seem to have a better selection than the one at Chesapeake Square.”
Artist Ruth Miller, a Riverfront resident and frequent customer at Michael’s, predicted that Hampton Roads Crossing stores are part of a new retail growth spurt for the city.
“This area is ripe for growth,” Miller said. “Suffolk is really the only city (in Hampton Roads) with any spare land left. We should be ready … because the influx is coming.”
Michael’s and Petco are two among a handful of new retailers poised to open in Hampton Roads Crossing this spring. A sign outside Five Below — a discount chain that sells merchandise for between $1 and $5 — announced that store will open at 10 a.m. March 4.
Interior construction is still under way at several other retailers, including DSW, Ross and Ulta Cosmetics. Exterior construction is still under way on several adjacent outlying parcels, including Texas Roadhouse, Rite Aid and Zaxby’s Chicken.