SCARBOROUGH – The newest Marden’s Surplus & Salvage store hadn’t been open for long Friday before the parking lot was nearly filled.

The store, which occupies the former Walmart building, opened for business at 9 a.m. as customers waited outside.

Some shoppers, such as Bonnie Cleaves of Brunswick, had heard about the opening on Facebook and the blogging site Twitter.

Cleaves and her mother, Jenny Babine, come to the area frequently and decided to stop in for the opening. Cleaves bought clothes for her 6-week-old daughter.

“We’ll be back,” Cleaves and Babine said as they headed to their car.

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

The Scarborough store, with 119,000 square feet, is the largest in the Marden’s chain, and there was plenty of anticipation surrounding the opening, said the store’s 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 store at 451 Payne Road can carry a large selection of fabric, furniture and carpet, he said.

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

Mary Kusturin was one of the 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 clocked in an hour earlier than scheduled to help out.

Marden’s specializes in selling items from close-outs, overstocks, discontinued lots and salvages. It’s known for its “Marden’s Lady” commercials, featuring the entertainer Karmo Sanders describing the store’s deals in an exaggerated Maine accent.

The chain, based in Waterville, has 15 stores across Maine, including the new one. Its store in Portland will close in the next month or two as Marden’s focuses on the Scarborough store, said John Marden, the company’s treasurer.

The company got more publicity this week when its general manager, Paul LePage of Waterville, won the Republican gubernatorial primary.

On Friday, Karen Condon drove down from Gardiner for the opening of the Scarborough store. It was her first day off work in two weeks, and she decided to spend it at Marden’s, browsing for deals on dog beds for her three chocolate Labradors.

“Every chance I get,” Condon said with a laugh when she was asked how often she shops at Marden’s.

She said she likes the fact that the Scarborough store is bigger and more organized than others.

Ed and Dawn Estey visited the store’s carpet area when they finished eating at the nearby IHOP. They were pricing shades of beige carpet for their bedrooms and stairwell.

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

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

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

 

Staff Writer Stephanie Hardiman can be contacted at 791-6301 or at:

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