ST. CLAIRSVILLE - Local bookworms didn't have to wait too long for a local retail outlet to fill the void left by the closing of the longtime bookstore at the Ohio Valley Mall.
Books-A-Million (BAM!) is officially open at the same location previously occupied for decades by Waldenbooks inside the mall. BAM! held a soft opening last week, and on Saturday, an official grand opening of the new store took place.
The St. Clairsville location is one of several new BAM! locations that are opening across the country this month. Each store carries an expansive selection of books, magazines, toys, tech products, calendars and more.
T-L Photo/ERIC AYRES
BAM! (Books-A-Million) has officially opened its new location at the Ohio Valley Mall in the former Waldenbooks location.
"I'm thrilled to serve the new Ohio Valley Mall location," said Melissa Eddy, general manager of the new BAM! location in St. Clairsville. "I know the community will truly enjoy our bookstore and the unique products we have to offer. We welcome customers to our store and look forward to giving quality service in the community for many years to come."
Eddy said the response to the store's opening has been very positive. Waldenbooks, which had been open in the same location at the mall for many years, recently closed its doors. Soon after the announcement of that closing, however, officials with the Cafaro Company - which operates the Ohio Valley Mall and several other mall operations across the country - announced that a new BAM! Store would soon be coming to the same space.
"Everyone seems really happy to still have a bookstore in the mall," said Eddy, who noted that patronage has been steady over the past week following the new store's soft opening.
The new business opened while shipments of stock were still arriving, Eddy added. On Saturday, an official grand opening was held in conjunction with the mall's Family Fun Day , and the first 200 customers received a free tote bag, with one of those lucky customers finding a prize inside valued at $250.
Eddy noted that customers seem to be pleased that the new store opens just in time for the holiday shopping season.
As the name states, BAM! offers a huge selection of books in stock, but the motto for BAM! is "books are just the beginning." The store carries a variety of magazines, bargain books, gifts and other unique selections. There is a special Kids-A-Million section featuring children's books, learning resources, toys and games, along with a myriad of literature for children and products from Lego, Skip Hop, LeapFrog, Hasbro and more.
For the savvy reader, there's an assortment of electronics for customers, featuring the NOOK Simple Touch and NOOK Color, Iphone, iPod and eReader accessories and DVDs, in addition to electronic accessories by brands such as Skullcandy, JVC, Built and ProtectIt.
All new customers are invited to sign up for the Millionaire's Club, where members can save 40 percent off bestsellers, 20 percent off hundreds of items throughout the store and 10 percent off everything, every day. Millionaire's Club members also experience special sale events and receive exclusive promotions and coupons through weekly emails.
BAM! is one of the nation's leading book retailers. The growing business is opening more than 40 stores in 18 states, bringing its total number of stores to 200 in 23 states and in the District of Columbia. In most cases, the new openings - many in Cafaro-operated mall locations - are transitions from former Borders bookstores to BAM! Stores. The new openings nationwide this month will be employing approximately 5,000 associates.
A total of nine new jobs were created through the opening of the Ohio Valley Mall location, with a total of three employees - including Eddy - transferring to the new store from BAM!'s location at The Highlands.
The first Books-A-Million store opening in Florence, Alabama in 1917 as a corner newsstand - started by a 14-year-old paperboy.
BAM! also sells books online at www.booksamillion.com.
Officials at BAM! said the business intends to be a good neighbor in every community they serve. Individual stores cater to the specific interests of their communities through the extensive stocking of regional-interest titles and local author events. New BAM! locations also offer discount programs for teachers and community organizations as well as community fundraising opportunities.
The common stock of Books-A-Million Inc. is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol BAMM. For more information about BAM!, visit the store during regular mall business hours, call (740) 695-2704 or visit the company's Web site at www.booksamillioninc.com.
Ayres can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.