|Updated: 9/21/2012 1:37 am
||Published: 9/20/2012 5:34 pm
The Party City store on Rodney Parham in Little Rock gutted by fire 6 months ago reopens Friday, September 21st at 8am.
After millions of dollars in renovations, the shelves are restocked and the building is 3,000 square feet bigger. There is also more parking available for customers.
March 7th, 2012, the Party City store went up in flames. Smoke pouring from the roof could be seen from miles away. Firefighters dumped gallons of water onto the store to put out the fire. Party City District Manager Aaron Hendrick says the employees went through every fire extinguisher in the store that day to no avail. "We evacuated everybody and everybody got out safely, so that's always the most wonderful thing. The contents and the building can be replaced."
The fire started in the heating and air conditioning unit. Hendrick says it was heartbreaking for the employees. "A lot of people lost their jobs for a little while. It was tough." But now many of those employees are coming back to work.
A half a million dollars in inventory was lost. $1.5 million in damage to the building has been repaired, restored, and is now ready to reopen for customers. Hendrick says a lot of the hard work and long hours have been put in just in the last 3 weeks to get the store ready in time for Halloween, Party City's busiest holiday of the year.
There are now 9 aisles of party supplies from floor to ceiling. More space in the building means more products can be laid out for customers to see the larger selection easier.
Employees are celebrating with a grand re-opening party Thursday night, and the doors open Friday morning for customers at 8 o'clock. The store is extending its hours Monday through Saturday from 8am until 8pm.