LIMA — The vacant Wal-Mart building in Lima’s Clocktower Plaza will soon have a new tenant that promises to create 70 jobs in the region.
Big R Stores, a general merchandise retailer, announced Tuesday it will open its first Ohio store at 945 N. Cable Road in Lima. Currently, the closest Big R location is in Wabash, Indiana.
“We felt like Lima was our type of town,” said Joda Crabtree, co-owner of Big R Stores. “There’s a lot of retail there which is good for us because of the regional draw, and we liked the old Wal-Mart building. Just everything about it felt good.”
The store, set to open in November, will provide Lima shoppers with apparel, pet products, sporting goods, equine products, lawn and garden items, home goods, farm supplies and more.
“We carry 80,000 different items,” Crabtree said. “We pretty much have every category covered, so we’re a one-stop shop for a lot of things.”
Big R will also be pet-friendly, as dogs are welcome to accompany their owners on shopping trips. In the spring, the store will sell baby chicks.
According to Crabtree, Big R has the inventory of big box stores such as Wal-Mart and Meijer, but places a greater emphasis on customer service.
“We’ll help carry your stuff out the door and load it into your car just to go above and beyond what you’d normally get at a big box retailer,” he said. “We treat our customers and employees like they are part of the family.”
Big R Stores has been family owned since it began serving the farm and home community in 1965. The company, now in its second generation of ownership, is headquartered in Watseka, Illinois, and operates 19 stores in Illinois and Indiana.
When it moves into Clocktower Plaza, Big R will join existing businesses such as Planet Fitness, Dollar Tree, Gamestop and Pet Supplies Plus. The store will occupy 110,000 square feet of the plaza, which has nearly 238,000 square feet in total.
To fill the store’s 70 open positions, Crabtree said he is looking to hire local workers.
“We’re excited to serve the Lima community and really want to hire locally whenever we can,” Crabtree said.
Those interested in employment can apply online by clicking the careers link at BigR.com.
Reach John Bush at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @bush_lima.