The building at 429 N. St. Marys St. in St. Marys has been the site of a grocery store, a roller skating rink, and a variety of other businesses. It is now the new location for major appliance store Western Home Appliances, which is holding a grand reopening this weekend.
Owners Bill and Kim Leitzel said the move began on July 2 from the store's former location on the Million Dollar Highway. The building on N. St. Marys St. has been extensively renovated and work is still progressing. Bill Leitzel said there is more display space in the new location, which has newly installed windows, light fixtures, paint and other features. He commended St. Marys resident Dick Perroz, who has been doing the bulk of work on the building.
"He did an excellent job on remodeling the inside," Leitzel said.
He said he felt the new location would be beneficial to customers, as there will be less traffic congestion than on the Million Dollar Highway.
"This is easier to get to because you don't have to fight the traffic on the highway," he said. "They [customers] can expect easier parking. You can get right in and out."
Leitzel said customers can also expect better prices, as the store plans to adjust some of its prices to reflect the current economic situation. He also said the shopping experience will also appeal to customers.
"We not only sell it at as good a price as the box stores do, we have a person who answers the phone-- no 800 numbers. No answering machine. Today, to so many businesses, you're just a number," Leitzel said.
In addition to its sale of major appliances, the company also services its products and handles the paperwork for state and federal rebates on certain models, something that Leitzel said customers have appreciated in the past.
"We do probably 50 to 75 rebates a week," Leitzel said.
The hours for this weekend's grand reopening celebration for Western Home Appliances are Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Most of the stock will be on sale, and the business is holding a drawing for customers to win appliances and other gifts. Proceeds from the sale of hot dogs and other items at the grand reopening will be donated to the Elk County Humane Society.
When asked what the most important aspect of his business is, Leitzel said, "The old-fashioned, 'take care of the customer.' We try to give the customer more than just a good price."