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JCPenney catalog center opens at Ace Hardware in Park Rapids

Sherry McAuley, left, arrived from Texas this week to make Park Ace Hardware an official JCPenney catalog center. Store employees Rhonda Sharp, from left, and Ken Grider are assistant managers and former Main street JCPenney catalog center owner Ann Johnson is assisting in operations. Park Ace/JCPenney store owner is Brad Dahn. An official grand opening will be held Wednesday, March 30. (Jean Ruzicka / Enterprise)

Park Ace Hardware is offering a new facet at its mercantile establishment on Highway 34 east.

A J.C. Penney Company catalog center is now located inside the Park Rapids store.

It's one of 398 similar operations in the U.S.

Sherry McAuley, a JC Penney Direct Merchant Program operations manager, arrived from Texas to welcome the Park Rapids crew on board Monday. She outran the metro snowstorm Sunday, leaving Minneapolis as the snow was beginning to accumulate.

The Direct Merchant Program was established in 1986, providing customers with access to catalog operation in markets not served by a JCPenney department store.

The catalog centers are located inside independently owned and operated businesses.

Brad Dahn, owner of Park Ace, purchased the catalog center from Mike and Ann Johnson, who operated the store on Main for many years. Ann Johnson is assisting with operations at the new site.

The catalog center provides order and pickup of Internet and catalog purchases, returns and exchanges, payments on a JCPenney credit card, purchase of gift cards and an assortment of catalogs at no charge.

The catalog center will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

An official grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony is slated for Wednesday, March 30. Four $100 gift certificates will be given away Fridays in April. Register to win at the store.