Two incredibly popular, and quite large, retail stores may soon be planting new roots in Maine's Capital city.

According to the Kennebec Journal, their are currently documents that have been placed on file with the City of Augusta that reveal the two retail giants have shown interest in the building that used to house Sears at the Turnpike Mall.

The KJ reports that Hobby Lobby is based out of Oklahoma City and currently have more than 900 stores across the United States. Of the 47 states that those 900 Hobby Lobby locations are currently in, Maine is home to three of them. Those stores are in Waterville, Bangor and Auburn.

If the proposed plan ends up going through, it's expected that Hobby Lobby would take up approximately 43,000 square feet of the former Sears building. The KJ reports that Hobby Lobby has already opened six new stores in the last two months.

If Hobby Lobby does in fact move into the area, they no doubt will need to hire lots of workers to staff the store. Hobby Lobby announced that effective January 1st, 2022, their minimum wage would be going up to $18.50 per hour, according to the Kennebec Journal.

As far as Harbor Freight Tools goes, The Kennebec Journal reports that the retail giant, which currently has about 1300 stores across the country and 6 in Maine, has obtained a building permit which will allow for improvements for a different part of the old Sears building. This will also permit them to build out additional retail space from the original building.

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These salary estimates are courtesy of the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. They are current as of April of 2020.

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