Friday, July 25, 2014

Gabe’s dressing up store for July 26 opening

July 10. 2014 11:24PM

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WILKES-BARRE — Fashion retailer Gabriel Brothers Inc. has filled all of the available positions at its soon-to-open Wilkes-Barre store, but the company still is accepting applications and will keep them on file for the future, a company spokeswoman said.

The new, 50,000-square-foot Gabe’s will open July 26 at 8 a.m. in the former Price Chopper in East End Centre, 815 Kidder St., across from the Wyoming Valley Mall.

The space has been vacant since Price Chopper left in 2007, according to Joe Amato, principal of Amato Properties, which owns the shopping center.

Before the new store opens, Gabe’s plans to give the local media a preview of the store on July 23, according to spokeswoman Madison Hawkins of High View Communications.

Hawkins said the company hired more people than originally planned.

“Gabe’s had planned to hire 150 people, and ended up with around 170 employees,” she said, adding that 11 of the positions are full-time leadership positions, which is also more than expected.

She said the pay depends on the employee position and previous experience but it is competitive in the market.

The company accepted applications and conducted interviews June 23 and 24 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Wilkes-Barre to fill jobs such as supervisory, customer service, cashier and stocking positions. The turnout was bigger than expected. Company representatives started the screenings two hours earlier than scheduled because so many applicants showed up.

The new 50,000-square-foot location will be the 12th Gabriel Brothers Inc. store in Pennsylvania. The Wilkes-Barre Gabe’s is one of eight new Gabe’s stores where openings are planned this summer and fall.

The retailer, headquartered in Morgantown, West Virginia, currently operates 39 stores in Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. Four new stores will open in July and August and four more are scheduled to begin doing business in the fall, Hawkins said.

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