Three national chains are opening stores in a new Smithfield strip center in front of Lowe’s Home Improvement on North Bright Leaf Boulevard.
One of the stores, Mattress Firm, opened last week, and the other two, Little Caesars Pizza and Great Clips, plan to open this week. Together, they have filled a newly-constructed building on the lot where Arby’s stood until it was closed and demolished.
Mattress Firm opened the doors Thursday to its showroom, which has about 40 beds on display for customers to lie down on and compare. Having grown up outside of Benson, manager Jon Jones said he was eager to leave his previous position in Cary to open a store in Smithfield. Until the store opened, Jones said, the nearest Mattress Firm was at White Oak Crossing in Garner.
“We’re glad to be in Johnston County,” he said.
As of last week, Little Caesars still had a lot of unfinished work, but builder Phil Claire said he planed to have the space ready for Hot-N-Ready pizzas on Tuesday or Wednesday of this week. The location will have a drive-through window and a new awning design that is the first of its kind for the restaurant chain, Claire said.
Great Clips will open Wednesday and become owner Mike Sullivan’s 13th franchise of the budget-priced salon. The shop will have a staff of 10 stylists, and haircuts will cost $4.99 for the first few weeks as a promotional offer. Great Clips does not offer appointments, serving customers instead on a walk-in basis, Sullivan said. For easier service, he said, the shop has an app that allows customers to check in on their smartphones.
Sullivan said he had been chomping at the bit to get the salon open before Easter. “Easter’s a peak time in the hair business because everybody wants to look good going to grandma’s house and going to church,” he said.
With all of three businesses opening at the same time and filling up the new strip center, Jones said he hopes to see shoppers make stops at each of the stores.
“No doubt we’ll drive some traffic here ourselves, and I think the volume Little Caesars brings is always nice to pull from,” he said.
“Everybody loves some $5 Little Caesars lunch deals.”