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Wal-Mart Presents $1M Gift to MLK Memorial Fund at New Wal-Mart Supercenter Grand Opening

ATLANTA, March 22, 2006 – With a focus on its positive local economic impact for the area, Atlanta’s newest Wal-Mart Supercenter celebrates its grand opening today.  A program began at 8:30 a.m. with presentations by area community leaders, including Former United Nations Ambassador and Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones and DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson.  The presentation of a $1 million donation by the Wal-Mart Foundation to the Washington D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project was a highlight of the ceremony.  Doors opened to the public at 9 a.m. The store is located at 2427 Gresham Road S.E. 

A Focus on Giving
A $1 million grant from the Wal-Mart Foundation was presented at the ceremony to Harry Johnson, Sr., CEO of the Washington D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, which is raising money to build a memorial to the Civil Rights icon on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.  “I am pleased to be a part of today’s ceremony and would like to express my appreciation to Wal-Mart for the company’s contribution to a memorial that will celebrate and honor the life and legacy of Dr. King,” said Johnson. 

Prior to the donation and ceremonial ribbon-cutting of the new store, Ambassador Young spoke about Wal-Mart’s positive impact in the Atlanta area and throughout the country. “This store is an example of what all Atlanta citizens need – access to jobs, affordable benefits and quality merchandise that help all working families and communities achieve a better quality life.” Ambassador Young was recently named the steering committee chairman of Working Families for Wal-Mart – an organization of business leaders, activists, civic leaders, educators and others whose mission is to share the positive contributions of Wal-Mart to working families. 

More than 8,000 Applicants for 500 Jobs
The store will employ more than 500 associates.  According to Store Manager Willie Whittington, more than 8,000 people applied for jobs at the new store.  The average wage at Wal-Mart for full-time hourly associates in the Atlanta area is $11.11 per hour.*  Eight associates have been with Wal-Mart for more than 10 years, bringing a combined 80 years of experience to the new store.

“The fact that 8,000 people applied for jobs here is a testament to DeKalb residents understanding that Wal-Mart provides not only good jobs, but a career with a growing company,” said Vernon Jones, CEO of DeKalb County. “This store is the first one inside Atlanta’s perimeter and is part of an urban renewal plan in which we are very glad to play an active role.”  In January, four Supercenters opened in Georgia, including three in the metro Atlanta area.  These four Supercenters opened in January, the Gresham Road store and a new Wal-Mart Supercenter also opening today in Warner Robins bring a combined total of 2,100 new jobs to the state since the start of the year

Wal-Mart Economic Impact in Georgia
EDITOR’S NOTE: See www.walmartfacts.com for more information about Wal-Mart in Georgia.
As of January 15, 2006 Wal-Mart owned and operated the following facilities in the state of Georgia:

  • Supercenters: 101
  • Discount Stores: 15
  • SAM’S CLUBS: 21
  • Distribution Centers: 9

In 2004, Wal-Mart collected on behalf of the state of Georgia more than $416 million in sales taxes and paid more than $42 million in state and local taxes.

Store Features
According to Whittington, the new 214,000-square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenter features 36 general merchandise departments including apparel and accessories, fine jewelry, a lawn and garden center, health and beauty aids, and a full line of electronics.  In addition, the store offers a bakery, a delicatessen, a frozen food section and meat, dairy and fresh produce sections.  It will be open to customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will include 18 full-service and eight express check-out lanes. Other store features include: a Tire & Lube Express, a Subway restaurant, a portrait studio, a one-hour photo lab, a vision center, a pharmacy, a Smart Style hair salon and a Regal nail salon.  In addition, the store will have beer and wine sales and a Wal-Mart Connect Center for wireless phone sales. “Our associates are excited to be a part of the community, and look forward to serving our customers,” said Whittington.
 
A Focus on Community
Upon its opening, the store will announce $25,000 in donations through Wal-Mart’s Good Works community involvement program to a number of organizations.  The store will also have a budget to give donations away locally throughout the year.  Organizations interested in receiving funding can contact the store for details.  (Editor’s Note: A complete list of groups receiving donations upon the store’s opening is included on the fact sheet on the final page of this release.) 
 
In 2004, Wal-Mart Stores and SAM’S CLUB gave $5,945,988 to local causes and organizations in the communities they serve in Georgia.  In addition, many charities and organizations received in-kind donations and additional funds raised through stores, CLUBS and distribution centers in the amount of $2,475,989, for a grand total of $8,421,977 contributed through Wal-Mart’s presence across the state.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and SAM’S CLUB locations in the United States. The company also operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, South Korea and the United Kingdom. The company’s securities are listed on the New York and Pacific stock exchanges under the symbol WMT. More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting www.walmartfacts.com. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com.

About the Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project
The memorial honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be built on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The memorial will be situated adjacent to the F.D.R. Memorial and in a direct line between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. Congress passed Joint Resolutions in 1996 authorizing Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., to establish a memorial honoring Dr. King to be built in Washington, D.C. Groundbreaking on the memorial is scheduled for late 2006, and construction is expected to be completed in 2008.  In August, Congress authorized $10 million in matching funds for the memorial.  To learn more, please visit www.buildthedream.org.

FACT SHEET
Gresham Road Wal-Mart Supercenter

Store fast facts
• Location: 2427 Gresham Road, S.E., Atlanta, Ga.
• 214,000-square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenter
• Store opening 9 a.m., Wednesday, March 22; 8:30 a.m. grand opening ceremony
• Store manager: Willie Whittington

Charitable giving 
• At the opening event, Wal-Mart presented $1,000,000 to Washington D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation
• The store also is giving $25,000 to 18 local charitable organizations
 
• 100 Black Men of America
• Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta
• Clifton Elementary
• DeKalb County Public Library
• DeKalb Fire And Rescue
• DeKalb Police Department
• East Lake YMCA
• Flat Shoals Elementary
• First Baptist Church of Gresham  Park
• Gresham Recreation Center
• Gresham Park Elementary School
• Leslie Steele Elementary
• Meadowview Elementary
• National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
• N.H. Scott Recreation Center
• Piney Grove Baptist Church Food Pantry
• Ronald McNair High School
• Ronald McNair Middle School
• Terry Mill Elementary
 
Employment
• 506 new jobs; 8,000 applicants
• The average wage at Wal-Mart for full-time hourly associates in the Atlanta area is $11.11 per hour.* 
• Approximately 76 percent of Wal-Mart store managers started as hourly associates.
* Average wage taken January 2006.  See www.walmartfacts.com for details. 

Store features
• Full line of groceries, bakery goods, deli foods, frozen foods, meat and dairy products and fresh produce, apparel and accessories, fine jewelry, lawn and garden center, health and beauty aids, full line of electronics, Tire & Lube Express, vision center, Subway restaurant, portrait studio, one-hour photo lab, pharmacy, Smart Style hair salon, Regal nail salon, Wal-Mart Connect Center and beer and wine sales. 
• Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week
• 18 full-service and eight self check-out lanes

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