TJ Maxxinistas create frenzy on first day

Jennifer Lee Preyss By Jennifer Lee Preyss

May 20, 2012 at 12:20 a.m.
Updated May 21, 2012 at 12:21 a.m.

Shoppers walk in and out of the new TJ Maxx location at the Victoria Mall. The store's grand opening kicked off Sunday.

Shoppers walk in and out of the new TJ Maxx location at the Victoria Mall. The store's grand opening kicked off Sunday.

Cash registers dinged Sunday as eager TJ Maxx shoppers took advantage of the store's grand opening.

Beginning at 8 a.m., fervent "Maxxinistas" held a steady shopping pulse throughout the day.

Perusing the men's section, containing endless rows of name-brand shirts, pants and accessories, Jeffrey Olivas clenched three hangers with Abercrombie & Fitch shirts and two pairs of Polo Ralph Lauren shorts.

"I came to buy shirts and saw the prices are good. There are good brands here," Jeffrey, 14, said.

Driving into Victoria from Yoakum with his family, Jeffrey said he was impressed with the TJ Maxx selection and thinks other students his age will be making regular trips to the store.

"This is what people are looking for," he said. "They have better brands here than other places. And the prices are better."

TJ Maxx Store Manager Melissa Vasquez said customers were abuzz all day, and sales were quickly meeting her grand opening goal of $90,000. As of 3 p.m., Vasquez said, the store was about "halfway there."

"I believe we've had a tremendous response today," said Vasquez, "If today is any indication of future business, the store will be very successful."

Vasquez, who recently relocated from Weslaco to run the store, said feedback from the community about the TJ Maxx store opening in Victoria Mall has been universally positive.

With the retail chain's selection of clothing, jewelry, accessories, home furnishings, bath and luggage items and lingerie, Vasquez said, she knows the store will compete well among other retail chains in the area.

Shopper Patti Ortega said she was unfamiliar with the store until Sunday's grand opening. But she said she was surprised at how many departments the store offered.

"I like it. The purses are good, and I think there's good prices here," Ortega, 18, said.

"Maxxinista" Minerva Webber said she was a fan of the San Antonio and Weslaco TJ Maxx locations before the opening of the Victoria store.

"It's awesome here. This one has a bigger selection than most other stores here in town, and they have good brands, too," Webber said, holding the new rug and sun dress she intended to purchase.

Sunday's extended 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. hours will adjust to regular store beginning Monday, Vasquez said. But she's confident customers will be pleased with the quality of the new store, convenient location, and value.

"Our customers see the need for our store in Victoria; they're glad we're here," she said. "It differs from other places. Because we're an off-price retailer, customers can get what they want at a fraction of the cost."



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