Renys to open Topsham store Aug. 18

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TOPSHAM — Attention, Renys shoppers: you’ll be able to shop in a new store on Thursday, Aug. 18.

The department store chain, founded by the late R.H. Reny in 1949, announced plans for the store in April, on the heels of opening a store on Congress Street in Portland.

The company is leasing an approximately 32,000-square-foot space, part of the former Village Candle location at the Topsham Fair Mall.

This marks the first time the company has opened two stores in the same year. The first store was in Damariscotta, and Topsham will be the company’s 16th.

Company President John Reny said last week that the new store will offer many free items as part of its opening celebration. There will also be raffles and a variety of products on sale.

Norm Robert, who was manager at Renys’ Saco store, will run the Topsham store. He will be assisted by Becky Read, who was assistant manager at the Bath store.

“Practice makes perfect,” Reny said. “I think this (store) was a little easier (to open). … It’s worked out really well.”

Merchandise was moved into the store over the course of a month. Prior to that the space received new ceilings, flooring and lighting. A lot of wax, from the former candle operation, had to be removed, Reny said.

He said the company is not planning other stores in the near future, and that 2012 could be “a rest year.” Still, he noted, “there are plenty of places we can go.”

The new store will employ more than 40 workers.

“Between Portland and here, this year, we’ve created just about a hundred new jobs,” Reny said. “Nobody else is doing that.”

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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Renys will open its 16th store on Thursday, Aug. 18, in Topsham. Manager Norm Robert, left, assistant manager Becky Read and company President John Reny are preparing.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.