The interior of the Family Dollar store in downtown Westbrook has been renovated and modernized, according to a company spokesperson. Robert Lowell / American Journal

The Family Dollar Store on Main Street in Westbrook opened Jan. 11 after being shuttered for nearly a year following a rat infestation, but it temporarily closed again this week pending needed approvals from the city.

“There are still final inspections that need to be conducted to reopen.  Those inspections have not been completed yet, but will be shortly,” Jennie P. Franceschi, the city’s director of planning and code enforcement, said Wednesday.  

The store plans a grand opening on Thursday, Feb. 1.

A sign Wednesday at the Family Dollar Store in Westbrook. Robert Lowell / American Journal

“The newly renovated store includes modernized layouts, updated interiors with more freezer space, taller shelves, additional merchandise selections, refreshed décor and more,” Family Dollar spokesperson Kristin Tetreault said in an email to the American Journal.

The the store will offer deals through Feb. 10, Tetreault said.

“The first 50 customers on Feb. 3 get a free $5 Family Dollar gift card, and customers can enter to win a $25, $50 or $100 gift card from Feb. 1-10,” she said. Winners will be selected on Feb. 10.


An employee at the Westbrook store declined to comment for this story.

The store closed last February on its own but the city officially shut it down after a March 3 inspection found live rats, dead and decaying rats and other health hazards on the premises. The infestation was confined to the store, city officials said at the time.

Remediation work over the past months included clearing out fixtures, trash and construction debris in the basement, blocking access holes created by the rats, and cleaning and sanitizing air conditioning units and duct work, according to city documents.

The reopening of the popular retail outlet has generated considerable chatter on social media. One customer, responding to a question on Facebook about the renovation work, posted, “all new floors, walls and set up different; its beautiful inside, looks like new products as well.”

Family Dollar carries a variety of low-cost household goods such as food items, toys, clothing and personal products.

Discover Downtown Westbrook, in a statement to the American Journal, said Family Dollar “provides valuable products and services to our downtown.”

“There are families in our community who depend on their accessible and affordable items, and we are glad to see their investment in the store and in our community,” the statement said.

The nonprofit group also proposes what it says will be another improvement for the store.

“As a Main Street Organization who aims to invigorate the downtown, we would hope that the Family Dollar would consider de-emphasizing their rear doors facing the parking lot, and re-orient their store to focus on their Main Street entrance,” it said. “Opening the front doors on Main Street would create a more welcoming environment in our downtown.”

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