Ames Department Stores, Inc. announced today it will celebrate the Grand Opening of the first urban Ames location in Delaware, at Miller Road Commons in Wilmington, on July 20, 2000. The company will also open five additional Ames sites on July 20 - three in New York and two new locations in Pennsylvania - to bring the chain's total store count to 467. After more than 20 years of successfully serving Delaware's suburban and resort communities at New Castle, Seaford, Millsboro, and Rehoboth Beach, Ames is opening its first urban Delaware site at Miller Road Commons in Wilmington. The 65,000 square foot store is approximately 50% larger than other Ames locations in the state and will employ 133. "Expanding to the Wilmington market was an easy decision," said Joseph R. Ettore, chairman and chief executive officer for Ames. "Where other retailers have abandoned the urban shopper, Ames has found a loyal and responsive customer base. We are confident our A+ customer service, great bargains and easy-to-shop store layout will be a good match to the needs of Wilmington's shoppers." Ames senior executives, store associates and local dignitaries kick-off the Grand Opening Celebrations on Thursday, July 20, 2000 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9:00 a.m. Special Grand Opening events include a live Dixie-land Band, product demonstrations, costumed characters, giveaways and sweepstakes. These special events will continue through Saturday, July 22, 2000. With 467 stores located in 19 states and the District of Columbia, Ames is the nation's largest regional, full-line discount retailer with annual sales over $4 billion. Ames offers a broad range of merchandise categories including family apparel, housewares, domestics, electronics, ready-to-assemble and patio furniture, jewelry, craft and pet supplies, health and beauty care items, stationery, sporting goods, toys, seasonal products and more.