Another Retail Giant Opens In Waveland - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Another Retail Giant Opens In Waveland

For thousands of people in Hancock County who are rebuilding, repairing and renovating, it's now easier to get home improvement supplies. Lowe's held its grand opening Wednesday morning in Waveland to a lot of very appreciative shoppers.

"It's a tremendous help, that way we won't have to go back and forth to Slidell, Gulfport. It just helps out so much," Waveland resident Roy Reed said.

Jennifer Marino and her two boys are looking for flowers. She says she's glad to spend her money at home to help Waveland's economy rebound.

"I think it's going to help it a lot. Instead of everybody having to drive to Gulfport to go and get everything, it's right here and it's close to home," Marino said.

Even before the hurricane, Lowe's was commited to open a store in Hancock County. Last year, the company bought the property and started clearing. The storm pushed back construction, but it also convinced the company it had to stand by its decision.

"We always make our commitments and stick to them. Based on the demographics of the city and the area, we knew this would be the place to be, particularly after the storm to help everybody recover," store manager Ed Knight said.

One of those recovering is employee Joyce Nieves. The storm gutted her home, and like so many others, she had to go elsewhere to get repair supplies.

"It's not easy to drive all the way to Gulfport or Slidell, which is what all of us were doing, you know. And that was huge burden for a lot of people because we only had one car ourselves," Nieves said.

With the doors now open, store manager Ed Knight says he hopes people won't have to drive further than the Lowe's parking lot.

Leaders at the new store say they also plan to be a good corporate citizen in the community. So during Wednesday's grand opening ceremony, the company presented a check for $50,000 to the Bay-Waveland School District. The district will use the money to purchase laptop computers for teachers.

Lowe's has also committed to putting up more than $60,000 to help some lucky Hancock County resident build a home.

by Marcia Hill

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