BY OYAOL NGIRAIRIKL
October marks the beginning of the holiday season and a hopefully lucrative fourth quarter. Some stores in Guam are readying to reopen for business in the coming weeks.
Pay-Less Markets Inc.’s Micronesia Mall location is at the tail end of a redesign of approximately $4.5 million.
The anticipated October opening had to be pushed back as the chain is awaiting shipment of certain equipment, an issue that has plagued many businesses in the past two years of the pandemic.
“We look forward to opening the doors of the Micronesia Mall location very soon and welcoming our Pay-Less friends and family to our newly renovated store in time for the holiday season,” Louise Borja, chief people officer of Payless Supermarkets; said.
The store entrance now faces Fatima Road, which allows for usage of the parking space adjacent to the parking garage leading to Ross Dress for Less that has, in large part over the last few years, been left unused.
The store front has the hallmark green and yellow A-frame above columns aesthetically anchored with brick layers. The mall store’s 40,362 square feet has a retail footprint of 26,570 square feet and the flow will be like the Maite store, with floral offerings at the entrance and produce to the side.
New experiences for customers include a beer cave and a tasting area that the store is calling the Chagi Tasting station (chagi is CHamoru for “to try”). The Chagi Tasting station will offer chesas and seating.
The store is also offering 1,000 square feet for four small businesses that can synergize with Pay-Less, including Infusion, which also has partnered with Pay-Less at other locations, including Maite and Oka.
Another similarity between the Micronesia Mall location and other Pay-Less stores is the delivery service that will cater to the tourism industry and a curbside pickup option.
Another recent renovation project was the Oka Pharmacy. The $100,000 project allowed for a drive-up service and more home healthcare products at Oka. The drive-up service is up and running, Borja said.
Phillip M. Schrage, senior vice president and leasing manager for Goodwin Development, which does business as Micronesia Mall, said the reason for the reorientation of the Pay-Less internal layout was the need for sufficient parking going forward 20 years. The store is also keeping its current entrance at Concourse 2, so the new orientation, allows for a “significant increase in parking,” he said.
“Micronesia Mall is very excited and is looking forward to Payless reopening — along with I think everyone else in the north, especially going into Thanksgiving and the holiday shopping that goes along with the Christmas holidays,” Schrage said.
Pay-Less is a subsidiary of PMC Investments Inc. Other subsidiaries are PDC Wholesale (which includes warehousing), PMC Real Estate and Pay-Less Logistics.
In the island’s capital city of Hagåtña, McDonald’s is continuing with the string of improvements. In the last few years, Guamanians were treated to a new Yigo McDonald’s. That was followed by renovations to the restaurant chain’s oldest location in Guam — Tamuning. The drive-thru at the Harmon location was also recently completed.
Joe E. Ayuyu, Jr., vice president of McDonald’s of Guam and Saipan; said the improvement at the Hagåtña location started with the drive-thru on Aug. 1. People can expect to see a double lane, similar to the Yigo and Harmon stores, once work is completed.
“It’s supposed to be done really soon,” Ayuyu said.
The next phase of work, once the drive-thru is completed, will shift to the interior of the restaurant, beginning with the dining room.
“That will allow our customers to keep getting their McDonald’s meal,” Ayuyu said, adding that the mobile order and curbside delivery also will continue for customer convenience.
The kitchen will be the next area to be upgraded, which will mean a short closure. But the company doesn’t expect that to take as long as the dining room or the drive-thru.
Between Dededo and Hagåtña, in Maite, is the American Grocery store that has been taking shape over the last couple of years. Construction was originally tagged at $3.8 million, according to Journal files.
Department of Public Works Deputy Director Linda J. Ibanez said a permit was issued to the company to construct the new facility. As of Sept. 28, the company had not requested an occupancy clearance to date, and construction continues.
In June last year, American Grocery opened its Yigo location, just a few miles North on Route 1 from the Dededo store, which expanded in 2006. mbj