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Burlington

September 27, 2014 — A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the Mall at Whitney Field for a new Burlington retail store Friday morning. The ceremony was attended by mall management, members of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, and Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella.

The store's entrances were decked out in red, white and blue balloons, and free desserts were provided by Shancakes Cakery in Leominster. As customers lined up outside the store, Burlington Regional Vice President Ellen Kuppens prepped employees for the opening.

"This weekend is about celebration," she said. "There's only one chance to make a good first impression."

Shoppers were also introduced to the "Burlington Gives Back" program, a service the company provides to make donations to the Boys & Girls Club of America, Leominster public schools, the ALS Association, and the American Cancer Society. The Leominster store has already raised more than $3,000 for these foundations. They also donated to Twin Cities Community Development Corporation of Fitchburg and Leominster through a partnership with the nonprofit K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers. Pallets loaded with products ranging from clothing to beds for babies and toddlers were stacked outside the store, and loaded into box trucks by workers from Fitchburg State University.

Mazzarella said the charity efforts show that Burlington is "serious about being local and giving back to the community."

"When you do something like that, that means you care about the community that you're in," he said.

Mazzarella was also impressed with the store itself. "Wait until you see the store," he told the crowd of customers, "it's huge."

Liz Kelley, general manager for the Mall At Whitney Field, hopes the addition of the store will bring more customers not only to Burlington, but to the rest of the mall.

"We're very excited," she said. "It certainly fills a void in the shopping environment here."

A new customer, Andrea Seward, agrees. She said the store has "unbelievable bargains" and the off-price store is a better option for buying multiple winter outfits for her 10-year-old daughter than other Whitney Mall stores like Macy's.

"This place is a better value," she said. "I'm so excited that it's here. I need a place like this."

Yasmin Loft of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce said the store "will be great for the economy, it will bring jobs to the community." The store has hired more than 80 workers so far.

Store Manager Jana Minio says the store is off to a promising start.

"It's been an overwhelming response," she said. "We're just happy to be a part of the community."

The celebration will continue today with a "family fun day" that includes gift-card giveaways, face painting and free tote bags for the first 500 customers.