HomeClub Inc., a West Coast-based chain of discount home improvement stores, will open its first Utah outlet next week in Murray. A second store is scheduled to open this summer.

Located at 4637 S. 9th East, the 111,067 square foot warehouse-style store and adjacent 9,990 square foot nursery will employ more than 100 people. Construction of a second HomeClub location at Redwood Road and 54th South will begin shortly, a spokeswoman said."We think there is a world of potential in Salt Lake City for a concept like HomeClub," said the company's vice president of marketing Scott Richards in a telephone interview from headquarters in Fullerton, Calif.

He said the company's demographic studies show the Salt Lake Valley stocked with HomeClub's largest market: Homeowners. HomeClub surveys also show homeowners generally spend between $400-$500 a year maintaining their property.

"We also do business with professional tradespeople," Richards said.

Founded in 1983, HomeClub has 49 locations operating the western United States, 33 of them in California.

The company uses a concept similar to Price Savers of a low overhead, warehouse-shopping environment in order to offer discounts on building materials, electrical supplies, plumbing, hardware, tools, paint, flooring, lighting, gardening equipment and nursery items.

HomeClub also passes along savings achieved through buying large orders directly from the manufacturer to avoid distribution costs and receive volume discounts from suppliers.

Although the store is open to the public, only members can receive the discounts; non-members pay 5 percent above posted prices. Richards said membership consists of an annual fee ranging from $10-$15.

"HomeClub has a significant price advantage over traditional retailers, forcing them to become more price competitive," Richards said. "The result of our coming in is prices coming down throughout the entire market and all consumers benefit."

The company's Utah outlet will open officially March 30, but is now open for membership registration, a spokeswoman said.

Designed by Leroy Miller Associates of Santa Monica, Calif., the warehouse was developed by Crumpler & Kruger of Los Angeles and constructed by The Stewart/Perry Co. of Birmingham, Ala.

The Redwood Road facility will be a 103,909 square foot warehouse with an additional 11,200 square foot nursery. The store is part of a 150,000 square foot complex being developed by Bella Vista Group of Bowmansville, N.Y.