An electronics mega-store is opening in Tucson.
Curacao (KOO-rah-sao) is bringing new jobs and tax dollars to the city.
So it's not only shoppers who welcome another retailer, there are a lot of people who have high expectations for Tucson's economy as well.
Dignitaries from the Curacao company and from the Tucson community gathered for a welcome and sneak peek at the new, nearly 100,000 square foot store on Friday, one day ahead of its grand opening.
The opening had been delayed a couple of years because the economy soured, but now the first southern Arizona Curacao store is open.
The other Arizona store is in Phoenix.
Known for an wide array of electronics, it also features everything from sunglasses to cosmetics to appliances and furniture.
That means Curacao needs a big roster of employees.
"We're talking about jobs. And that's 200 jobs. And I think there'll be growth here," says Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild.
Those are Tucson hires, with the company expecting to hire another 100 people for the holidays.
The 31-year-old Los Angeles-based company has 11 stores, and is adding more.
It now is rebranding itself, hoping to expand its reach beyond its traditional Hispanic market as it positions itself for future growth.
"What has happened is, as we've continued to grow, we find that a much larger percentage of the customers who are shopping our stores are of all different demographics,"says Curacao Retail President Rick Hutton.
"The whole idea for us is to include everyone to serve all the communities. Certainly the Hispanic community is one that we are very connected to and we'll continue to serve as we go forward," Hutton adds.
And it certainly is not lost on the company that Mexico is a mere hour away from it's Tucson store.
"We've done a lot of marketing in Mexico. People are going to find this store to be exciting. And, yes, we expect people to come from across the border," Hutton says.
The city of Tucson relies heavily on retail sales taxes, so a company that draws money from outside the community is important economically.
"The 22 million visits by Mexican nationals to Arizona every year--64%--the primary reason they're coming here is shopping," says Metropolitan Tucson Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Vice President Felipe Garcia.
City leaders welcome the new retailer, but Mayor Rothschild says they have more work to do to help the community succeed economically.
"Retail can't survive unless we get jobs, good jobs--whatever they may be: Science, technology, inventing, manufacturing--so people have the money so they can come to stores like Curacao."
Curacao's grand opening will be Saturday, October 29, at 8:00.
The store expects huge crowds because of special grand opening pricing.
Curacao is located in the Southgate Shopping Center on South Sixth Avenue at Interstate 10.
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