Job seekers crowded the lobby and sidewalk of Harlem's newest grocery store on Wednesday.
The IGA on South Hatcher Street held a job fair to help fill 20 available positions at the store, which is slated to open at the end of summer.
Brittanny Morton, 20, of Dearing, was applying for a cashier position. She didn't expect to see so many other applicants at the fair.
"The economy is really not that good right now," she said.
W.L. Flowers and Co., which owns and operates the IGA store on West Milledgeville Road, and its partner company, KJ Investments, purchased the former Thomson Co. site for the new supermarket.
Company officials said they expected to see a few hundred applicants during the fair. Available jobs included a few management positions and jobs for clerks, cashiers, baggers, stockers and personnel for the bakery, deli and meat departments, said Will King, W.L. Flowers' real estate director.
"It is not uncommon," King said of the large number of applicants at the fair.
King said about 40 employees will be moved from the current Harlem IGA to the new store to total about 60 employees.
"We've got the basic skeleton of a management crew from the other store," King said. "But we don't have that (bakery/deli) department (employees)."
The 32,000-square-foot store is still under construction. Coolers have already been installed and King said decor crews will soon be coming in to add character to the interior.
"It is going to be kind of an Oliver Hardy theme inside, kind of an old-west," with wagon wheels, old-fashioned wanted posters and Laurel and Hardy silhouettes on the aisle markers, King said.
The store, located on nearly three acres, is more than twice the size of the existing IGA.
Shoppers will have a full line of frozen foods, bakery items, a larger meat department, a full line of health and beauty aids and an eat-in deli, King said.
Construction started early this year, and King said he hopes the store will open on Sept. 2.
"It is a big deal when we open a store in a small town," King said. "They come from miles around to see it. It is not like opening one in a bigger town."
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