SCARBOROUGH — The new Marden’s Surplus and Salvage in Scarborough hadn’t been open for long when the parking lot nearly filled.

 

The store, which occupies an old WalMart, opened at 9 a.m. to customers waiting outside.

Some shoppers, such as Bonnie Cleaves of Brunswick, had heard about the opening from the social networking website Facebook and microblogging site Twitter.

Cleaves and her mother, Jenny Babine, come to the area a lot, and decided to stop in for the opening. She bought baby clothes for her six-week-old daughter.

“We’ll be back,” the two said as they headed to their car.

Inside, everything from bathing suits and badminton sets to cat toys, mattresses and crockpots lined the shelves and the aisles.

The store is the largest Marden’s location, and there’s been a lot of anticipation surrounding the opening, said store manager Brian Seeley.

“Very, very hyped up, a lot of anticipation,” he said as he watched customers stream through the entrance.

Because of its size, the Scarborough store, located at 451Payne Rd., is able to carry a large fabric section, furniture and carpet, he said.

In the fabric section, women pushing carts heaped with bolts of fabric waited in line to have employees cut their share.

Mary Kusturin was one of the Marden’s workers who had been called in from another department to help with the fabric customers.
 
“Everyone kept saying, ‘It’s going to be crazy,’ but I didn’t really believe them,” Kusturin said. “I got proven wrong,” she laughed. She clocked in an hour earlier than scheduled to help out.

Marden’s specializes in selling items from closeouts, overstocks, discontinued lots and salvages. There are 15 locations across the state of Maine, including the new location. The Portland store will be closing in the next month or two to focus on the Scarborough store, bringing the number back down to 14, said John Marden, the company’s treasurer.

“It’s been a long process to get it open,” Marden said of the new location. “We’re happy it’s open, and it’s been well received.”

The store is known for its “Marden’s Lady” commercials, featuring a woman with an exaggerated Maine accent describing the store’s deals.

A different lady, Karen Condon, was browsing deals on dog beds for her three chocolate Labradors. She came down from Gardiner specifically for the store opening. It was her first day off in two weeks, and she decided to spend it at Marden’s.

“Every chance I get,” Condon laughed when asked how often she shops here. She said she liked that this store was bigger and more organized.

The carpet area was calling to Ed and Dawn Estey when they finished eating at the nearby IHOP. The pair was pricing shades of beige carpet for their bedrooms and stairwell.

“The prices are really good, comparing them to WalMart, Target,” Dawn said. She and her husband were looking for something that would withstand the spills and dirt from their five children.

Laura Bantley of Limington was there stocking up on cereal and other items before she and her husband went camping this weekend.

But the main things she ends up buying are “things I didn’t know I needed until I see them,” she said.

Staff writer Stephanie Hardiman can be contacted at 791-6301 or
[email protected]