By Mason W. Canales

Killeen Daily Herald

HARKER HEIGHTS – Former Dallas Cowboy Jay Novacek helped welcome customers and rally employees at the grand opening of Circuit City at Market Heights on Thursday.

"These grand openings really blow everything else away," Novacek said while standing on a ladder looking down at about 70 Circuit City employees talking about how Thursday was going to set the feel for the rest of the store's life.

"Let's just have fun and enjoy ourselves," Novacek said.

More than 500 people visited the store on Thursday. They created a line that stretched past the not yet open Dick's Sporting Goods.

Several customers came to the opening to see the former Cowboy star as well as to explore the new Circuit City.

"I am a big fan," said Jose Guevara, of Killeen, holding two Dallas Cowboys footballs. "I grew up watching him play, and he is really good with the kids."

Guevara, who attended with his wife, Patricia, and 2-year-old daughter, Gabi, regularly shops at Circuit City, he said.

It is always well stocked, and its prices match one of their largest competitors very well, Guevara said.

Circuit City's move from Killeen to Harker Heights wasn't going to affect Guevara much because he likes the Market Heights Plaza and how everything is located, he said.

While shoppers browsed the new store looking at items that were on display, two of the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders and Novacek were photographed with guests, and Novacek signed footballs.

The Circuit City store in Market Heights is a new store model the national retail chain is opening around the United States.

The atmosphere at this store is relaxed. Employees wear jeans and T-shirts and are called partners. Everything is very hands-on, and employees take pride in calling customers guests, said Jamie Lamar, Circuit City director.

"It is a totally new concept for the company," he said.

The store is community-based, too. It will support the local Boys and Girls Club and other organizations through contributions, Lamar said.

Novacek signed footballs for several members of the Boys and Girls Club of Central Texas. Circuit City donated at least $2,500 to the organization, with more money coming in from the sale of footballs at the event.

"There is a balance that goes into having a good city," said City Manager Steve Carpenter. "To really have a good community, you have good citizens, good businesses, a good City Council and a good staff. ... When you have a good relationship with the business, it helps that balance."

Carpenter said he is looking forward to the other stores opening in Market Heights.

"It is a safe, classy place to be," Councilman Rob Robinson said. "With the restaurants and Barnes & Noble opening soon, this is going to be a significant retail area."

Contact Mason W. Canales at or (254) 501-7554.

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