ELLENTON -- Bradenton-based Bealls Inc. is rapidly completing preparations to move into the North River Village shopping center with its seventh Manatee County Bealls Outlet store.
Inside the former Publix supermarket space at 6242 U.S. 301 N., Ellenton, Store Manager Madeline Smith and a crew of 18 Monday were filling 20,000 square feet with name-brand apparel, footwear and housewares and home décor.
Outside, construction workers were making improvements to the exterior, which was lined with a row of scaffolding.
A grand opening is set for Oct. 19, but the company is aiming for a soft opening Oct. 10, said Jim Simpson, vice president of real estate for Bealls.
The new Bealls Outlet joins a Big Kmart, plus smaller stores including King Wok Restaurant, Dollar Tree and Hallmark in the North River Village.
While most hiring has been completed, Smith is still taking applications for about four more employees. Due to the construction, all traffic is being sent to the rear of the building.
Grand opening promotions will include a weekend coupon. Customers can also sign up for the One Card Loyalty program between now and Oct. 27 and be eligible for a drawing to be held for a tablet computer.
The One Card program, which incorporates Monday Club, is a shopping program that entitles customers age 50 and older to a 15 percent discount off purchases every Monday.
Shoppers younger than 50 save 15 percent on Fridays, as members of the Friday Club.
Bealls has more than 473 stores across the Sunbelt. It operates Bealls Outlet Stores in Florida, Arizona and Georgia.
It also operates Burkes Outlet Stores in 14 states, including Alabama, California, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia.
James A. Jones Jr., East Manatee editor, can be contacted at 941-745-7021 or tweet @jajones1