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(Beloit, WI) By Shaun Zinck, Beloit Daily News

On Saturday Beloit residents will get their first taste of “The Pig.”

After nearly a year and a half since it was announced that Piggly Wiggly had purchased the old K-Mart building, at 1827 Prairie Ave., the store is set to open for business this weekend.

The store is expected to open around 7 a.m. on Saturday, and regular store hours will be from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day.

The signs labeling each department around the store were still covered with paper on Monday. Miguel Guzman, manager of the store, said they would be working on those over the next two days.

Most of the aisles already are filled with products, and vendors for beer, pizza and other frozen food were in the store on Monday filling the freezers and coolers.

“We started the frozen items today, and the perishable items will come in on Thursday or Friday,” Guzman said. “The building is ready, we just have a couple little more things to do.”

The sign out front is up as well, and employees started training last week, Miguel said. About 120 employees were hired to work at the store. Training was continuing this week, Guzman added.

Beloit resident Heather Murphy, scan coordinator, said she started last week. As the scan coordinator she is responsible for placing the price tags on all the products in the store. She said she has liked the job so far.

“It’s very busy,” she said on Monday. “I have to be able to multi-task.”

The position is part-time and Murphy said she applied in order to earn some extra income, adding she currently has a child in college.

About a week ago Gary Suokko, COO for Piggly Wiggly Midwest, said an exact opening date had not been set, but was looking to open the store before Easter.

The company listed job openings for nine positions both full- and part-time for a few weeks on its website. The old K-Mart building shut its doors in 2002, but in September 2012 after nearly a decade of vacancy it was announced that Piggly Wiggly had bought the 80,000 square-foot building.

Piggly Wiggly is housed in about 50,000 square feet and the other 30,000 will be used for five to eight smaller shops. The cost of the renovation was estimated to be about $4 million. At first, the chain planned to open the store in the summer of 2013, but delays on the design and other Piggly Wiggly store openings put the project behind. In November, Suokko publicly said the store wouldn’t open until this year.

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