Big Lots opening in Madera? What does Ross sign mean?

Madera residents have made it known that they’d like more shopping options in their own city. The appearance of a Ross Stores sign at the Madera Marketplace shopping center sparked an excited social media conversation among them about when a location might open on Cleveland Avenue, just west of Highway 99. It’s the latest indication that bigger retail might be looking at the city of Madera more than it has in the past. In fact, Big Lots, the discount retailer, said several years ago that it would be coming back to Madera. Locals have been wondering if it will ever happen. The 36,760 square-foot space the discount retailer was set to occupy in the Country Club Village shopping center, just east of Highway 99, has been empty for two years. Big Lots said it has not abandoned plans to open a store at 1143 Country Club Dr.

“The original opening dates were pushed back due to some construction delays, but we’re on track for a summer 2024 grand opening,” company spokesperson Joshua Chaney said in an email to The Bee. Big Lots stores typically employ around 25 to 30 full and part-time associates, Chaney said. Jobs available for the Madera store will be posted on the company’s careers web page a few months ahead of the summer opening. As Madera grows, residents increasingly crave more retail options and often complain on social media that they’re tired of driving to Fresno and other far off points to find the big retail options they want. The city of 68,000 people has been growing, seeing a population increase of nearly 11% since 2010. In the past few months, they’ve seen the opening of a Smart & Final store and an In-N-Out restaurant in the same corridor where Ross is set to open. Ross Stores would not provide details about when it will open the store planned for the tenant space next to the city’s Smart & Final store. Pearson Companies CEO Peter J. Orlando, a real estate broker who works with Ross Stores in the Central Valley, wrote in an email to The Bee that it could be a few months before a date is known.

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