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McCaulou’s expects a July opening

Store received 700 applications, owner says
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Auburn can expect to see McCaulou’s open its doors before the end of this month. The department store, which has moved in at the old Gottschalks location in the Auburn Town Center off Elm Avenue, was busy Thursday afternoon as employees prepared the indoor departments and workers installed the storefront sign’s letters. “They just started this morning, putting the sign up,” said David McCaulou, owner of McCaulou’s Inc. “They also put signs up on the freeway a couple days ago and at the entrances (to the center).” Local residents can expect the store to open before the end of July, but McCaulou said he didn’t have an exact date. “We just have to play it by ear,” he said. “It’s been a short-term start-up process, so some of the things create delays.” McCaulou said the store is still accepting “back-up applications” and has already hired 70-100 people. McCaulou said 700 applicants applied. “It’s gratifying we can accommodate some of them, because that is a lot of jobs,” he said. The store started its employee training Wednesday, McCaulou said, and on Thursday they were working to stock the various departments including: kids, juniors, Clinique, Estee Lauder, shoes, handbags, misses, mens and more. This particular store is about the same size or bigger than most of the other McCaulou’s stores, McCaulou said. Andy Heath, director of administrative services for the city of Auburn, has said the department store is expected to bring in $60,000 to $80,000 per year in sales tax revenue. McCaulou said the company is very happy about the number of applications it got and the quality of the applications. “We are very enthused with the public response we have been receiving, both by e-mail and the personal conversations in the shopping center,” he said. Judith Gordon-Lawson, owner of Mountain Mama Clothing in the Auburn Town Center, said foot traffic is already picking up in the center because of McCaulou’s. “We are very excited about it opening, and already there is more activity in the shopping center with the employees, and the workers and just general excitement,” Gordon-Lawson said. Gordon-Lawson said community members are happy the store is bringing more jobs to the area, and she watches the preparation work on a daily basis. “It looks like it’s going to be open really, really soon,” she said. “So, we are all happily waiting in anticipation.” Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com