ABILENE, Texas - The grand opening for Abilene's new Sam's Club location signaled new opportunities for many local businesses.
Construction has been underway for several months to move the club from its previous location at 5301 South 1st Street to 5500 South Clack Street near Abilene Regional Medical Center.
Dozens of local business owners, some of whom were invited to feature their products inside the new store, and long time members said they are excited about the bigger store.
"It's nice, it's closer to us," said Codie and Roy Allen, who have been customers for more than two decades.
"I love the bigger store because there's going to be a lot more to pick and choose from," said Luvey Moore, who owns approximately 78 vending machines across the Big Country. "I get all my sodas and all my candy and snacks and everything right here. I don't have to go anywhere else."
Absolutely World Class, an Abilene-based barbecue sauce business, was among businesses invited to feature its products during the club's grand opening weekend.
Sam's Club Manager Nathan Hobart said asking businesses to visit is a win-win for everyone.
"We're providing a product and a service for our members but it also helps support our local economy, I mean they manufacture that right across the street from us and that's extremely important to me and Sam's Club," Hobart said.
The opening of the new location created 35 additional jobs. According to a Sam's Club spokeswoman, all offers on the previous building on South 1st Street will be carefully screened to ensure the surrounding community will not be adversely affected by any potential new business.