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VOL. 111 | NO. 38 | Tuesday, February 25, 1997

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For those who live and die by the adege shop til you drop, grab party duds and head for the Wolfchase Galleria grand opening bash tonight. Wolfchase parties tonight, readies for grand opening Wednesday By SUZANNE THOMPSON The Daily News For those who live and die by the adage "shop till you drop," the Wolfchase Galleria will be the place to be tonight as the mall throws a "Grand Boogie" in advance of its opening to the public Wednesday morning. With about 120 stores, 117 of which are occupied, the mall already touts a 97 percent occupancy rate, according to Wolfchase Galleria marketing director Joyce Irwin. Irwin said that although the anchor stores do not share information with the Gallerias interior stores, mall officials are estimating that about 4,000 people have been employed at the mall, so far. Goldsmiths and Sears already have opened and the 120 stores inside the mall are scheduled to open Wednesday morning. The Galleria also has a food court, which will seat about 600, an eight-screen movie theater and a fantasy carousel with exotic animals. So far, two anchor stores, Goldsmiths and Sears, have opened, Irwin said. Sears had its official opening last week. Store manager Bobby Dees said the mall had a "soft opening" on Wednesday and a preview day on Friday, followed by the stores grand opening on Saturday. "In terms of business, business was very good all days. Weve been extremely happy with the customer response to our store." Dees said that with the success the center is expected to have, he hopes within the next few years the Wolfchase store will be the biggest volume Sears in the city. In advance of its opening, the mall will offer the sounds of Memphis musicians tonight. Festivities will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the mall, with valet parking available, and continue until 10:30 p.m. "There are going to be three stages of entertainment plus fabulous food everywhere," said Gwen Parrish, president of the Junior League of Memphis, the organization chosen Urban Properties, the malls owner, to benefit from the sale of the $50 event tickets. "The Temptations are going to be here," said Parrish. "Were featuring some Memphis music, with Ruby Wilson, Rufus Thomas, Joyce Cobb and the Memphis Jazz Orchestra." Parrish said the group has sold more than 2,000 of the $50 tickets, and they are expecting a large crowd. "We were thrilled to be selected to be the beneficiary," Parrish said. Parrish said the Junior League found out about the event from one of its members, who was formerly employed by Urban in Chicago. According to Irwin, Wolfchase personnel have their hands full getting ready for tonights benefit. "There is a team of people that are actively working to get every finishing detail done so that when the customers come everything looks spotless," Irwin said.
PROPERTY SALES 56 94 12,852
MORTGAGES 23 50 8,053
BUILDING PERMITS 285 422 30,356
BANKRUPTCIES 23 67 6,131