LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - More than 100 East Texans lined up bright and early this morning to be the first ones to walk through the doors of the new T. J. Maxx store in Lufkin.
But this new store brings more than just more shopping diversity to the Lufkin Mall.
Waiting customers were greeted with applause and smiles as they walked through the doors of the brand new T. J. Maxx at Lufkin's Mall.
Kim Rowley was the first in line and T. J. Maxx managers gave her a special honor.
"I never imagined I would be cutting the ribbon but it was very exciting to be a part of their grand opening," said Rowley. "My friends and I have been planning for a month to come to the grand opening and get the first selection."
T. J. Maxx shopper, Mary Purvis, said she waited a long time for more shopping choices.
"I'm excited to have T. J. Maxx in Lufkin," said Purvis. "I wanted to be one of the first ones in here. If there's a good deal I want to get there first."
But the big name store brings much more than a new shopping option with deals on name brand items to East Texas.
T. J. Maxx spokeswoman, Brittany Welch says the store adds 60 full and part-time jobs to the area.
Lufkin's deputy city manager, Keith Wright says any new businesses to the area bring a multitude of positives
"Any job creator such as a retail/box facility like T. J. Maxx, they're going to employ a fairly good number of people," said Wright.
And more jobs means more economic growth for the city, the county and even surrounding areas.
"You have more economic growth in the sense that they're spending money, purchasing, creating sales tax revenue, supporting our other retail in the community and that's the benefit of those jobs," said Wright.
And as part-of the grand opening celebration Sunday, T. J. Maxx officials wanted to give back to the community for the warm welcome to the neighborhood.
Representatives from the Family Crisis Center of East Texas were on hand to accept a $5,000 donation from the company.
Family Crisis Center, fund development director, Susan Robertson says T. J. Maxx has decided to partner with this local non-profit for projects throughout the year.
"They've also decided to volunteer with us throughout the year and manpower is something we need on a regular basis to help us so we're excited not only about the monetary donation but also the volunteers," said Robertson.