LJ’s Store has joined the supermarket big leagues after opening a new location last June 10 along Middle Road in Gualo Rai.
The 7,000-square-foot grocery store located at the old XO Market beside Springs Plaza dwarfs the company’s first two locations—the original LJ’s Store in Chalan Kanoa and the more recent LJ’s Store II in Garapan.
Operations manager Jenny Riza De Leon Guerrero Ubilas said the company decided to open a new store in Gualo Rai—dubbed simply as LJ’s Store I—to serve the community better.
“We believe that there is a need for a convenience market that provides good service to customers in Gualo Rai and nearby villages,” she said.
Ubilas, who also had a hand in designing the new store, said the advantage of the new location is obviously it’s bigger and therefore can carry more items compared to the first two iterations of LJ’s Store.
“This is a 7,000-square-foot convenience store. There are lots of imported household products that we could not display in our smaller stores. Also, we can provide a more leisurely shopping experience in this larger convenient store similar to general stores in smaller communities in the U.S. mainland,” she said.
And the larger store indeed delivers on that promise with wider aisles, more refrigerators for frozen meat and seafood, enclosed chillers for fruits and vegetables, and shelves upon shelves of other items.
The only thing missing from the newest LJ’s Store is a loyalty card program first popularized by giant retailers in the mainland that some groceries on island have also come to introduce.
“Currently, we are focused in providing good service and quality. We consider the possibility of loyalty programs after we have established good service,” said Ubilas.
She also insists that the owners of LJ’s Store are not all worried by the recent economic downturn and upcoming government austerity measures that potentially can cut sales of all three of its stores.
“Austerity measures and economic slowdown is only a temporary matter. People need good service and good products every day,” she said, adding that LJ’s Store wouldn’t be opening a third location if its owners are not confident the CNMI would recover from the post-Super Typhoon Yutu economic downturn.
The company’s owners should now as Lin Mei, one of the owners, has been on Saipan for more than 25 years having opened her first grocery on the island in 1993.
The newly opened LJ’s Store I in Gualo Rai is open every day from 6:30am to 12am.