Arlington, VA

Cash registers are ringing at the long-awaited Penrose Square Giant on Columbia Pike.

The store opened its doors to customers tonight in advance of its official opening Friday morning. Shoppers enjoyed free wine and food samples and the music of a live mariachi band.

Located at the corner of the Pike and S. Barton Street, the 52,000 square foot store is brand new, with a number of enhancements compared to its Adams Square predecessor. Among the new features:

  • “SCAN IT!” hand-held devices, which allow customers to scan and bag their groceries while they shop
  • “ORDER IT!” deli kiosk, where customers can digitally place deli orders and continue shopping until alert is received
  • Full-service floral department
  • “Enhanced and expansive” produce department
  • Expanded selection of natural and organic food items
  • Bakery with Madelyn cakes and lattice pies
  • Full-service seafood department with “an expanded variety of items,” complimentary marinating and steaming
  • Full-service meat department with expanded selection
  • Energy Star-rated cooking appliances and equipment, heat reducing roof, low-e glass windows, skylights
  • Expanded International section offering variety of Hispanic, Italian, and Asian products
  • Complimentary cart-to-car service
  • An integrated PNC Bank branch

At a 6:00 p.m. ribbon cutting ceremony was held, featuring store employees, elected officials and neighborhood leaders.

“Welcome back to Columbia Pike,” said Takis Karantonis, Executive Director of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization. Karantonis called the store opening a “critical moment” in the Pike’s continued development. He added that 7,000 households live within easy walking distance of the store.

The store will bring about 100 new jobs to the area, according to the company. Doors reopen Friday at 6:00 a.m.

More photos, after the jump.

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