New Supercenter Brings Savings and Support to Military Families and Northern Topeka Shoppers

Store to support “Operation Homefront” and local groups with $37,500 in donations


TOPEKA, Kan., Jan. 15, 2007 – The new Wal-Mart Supercenter in Topeka, bringing one-stop shopping convenience and many economic benefits to this growing community, will open its doors to Shawnee County shoppers on Monday, Jan. 22. The store will debut many enhanced store features and will provide an outpouring of support for community causes, including a $7,500 donation to “Operation Homefront,” a nonprofit group that supports U.S. troops and their families. The new store is located at 2600 N.W. Rochester Road.

Focus on Community With $37,500 in Grants; “Operation Homefront” to receive $7,500
Wal-Mart stores opening across the country this month near military bases are showing their support for families, the troops and veterans by giving more than a quarter of a million dollars combined in grants.  Upon its opening, the new Topeka Wal-Mart will announce $37,500 in donations to a number of local organizations, including two significant grants. A donation of $7,500 will go to Operation Homefront.  Amy Palmer, executive vice president for operations for Operation Homefront, says this grant will go directly to help families in the area who have loved ones who are currently deployed or have been wounded while serving our country.

Wal-Mart associates who currently have loved ones overseas will present the donation to Operation Homefront representatives at an invitation-only event for area dignitaries, associates and their families on Jan. 19. Approximately 25 of the new Supercenter associates are veterans, according to Store Manager Shawn Steinkamp.

“Wal-Mart is an extremely generous supporter of the military community; not only donating to help military families in need, but also by employing military spouses and providing great value for our money,” says Palmer. 
She adds that the donation from Wal-Mart is particularly important to Topeka since the military base is not active, meaning a local support system is unavailable.  “With funding from Wal-Mart, we have been able to go a long way toward keeping people in their homes, helping with mortgage payments, rental assistance and electric bills,” adds Palmer.

“We’re so pleased to be able to award this grant to Operation Homefront,” says Steinkamp.  “We wanted to show our support for families who live in and around Topeka who have family members overseas.”

In addition, a grant of $5,000 will go toward the Seaman School District’s efforts to buy a bookmobile to improve reading literacy in the area. The store will also have a budget to give donations away locally throughout the year.  Organizations interested in funding can contact the store for details. 

Supercenter to Provide Added Convenience for North Topeka Shoppers
Steinkamp invites customers into the new Supercenter, which offers a wide selection of merchandise offerings and low prices. “We are thrilled to be able to offer our services to shoppers in the Topeka area and to help them with all their shopping needs,” Steinkamp says.

It’s expected that the new store will foster continued growth in north Topeka. Steinkamp says, “The availability of a new Supercenter on the north side of Topeka will help generate a new business culture in the area.” In addition, he
says, the close proximity of the store will offer added convenience to customers, saving them both time and money.

Kathy Moellenberndt, vice president of economic development for the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce/GO Topeka, says of the new store, “We’re very excited to see the development of the new Wal-Mart store north of our city along Highway 24.  The northern corridor of the community has seen significant growth in the last several years,  and the opening of the new store will certainly add to the ongoing development and be a draw to the area.”

Store Features Latest Layout and Merchandise
Extensive landscaping and an outdoor garden canopy welcome customers to the new store. Inside, shoppers will find stained concrete and hardwood-laminate flooring that lead to wider aisles and a customer-friendly layout.  According to Steinkamp, the new 188,400-square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenter features 36 general merchandise departments including apparel, accessories and fine jewelry, an expanded lawn and garden center, health and beauty aids, and a full line of electronics showcasing the latest in computers, iPods and high-definition televisions.  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 Commerce Bank & Trust branch, a one-hour photo lab, a vision center, a family fun center, an upscale pharmacy, a Regis hair salon, beer sales and a Wal-Mart Connect Center for wireless phone sales.

Job Opportunities for Shawnee County Area
More than 1,200 people have applied for the more than 340 jobs planned at the new store.  The national average wage at Wal-Mart for full-time hourly associates is approximately $10.11 per hour.*  “Our associates look forward to serving our customers and being great partners with the Topeka community,” says Steinkamp, who began his Wal-Mart career as an hourly associate 10 years ago at a store in Warrensburg, Mo.

Grand Opening Activities
Local residents will take part in the 7:30 a.m. grand opening activities, including the invocation and a performance of the national anthem. The local Veterans of Foreign Wars will present the colors.  Other activities planned during the celebration event include numerous product samplings, costume character appearances and giveaways.

Wal-Mart in Kansas
As of December 2006, Wal-Mart employed 19,616 associates and owned and operated the following facilities in the state of Kansas:

  • Supercenters: 41
  • Discount Stores: 13
  • Neighborhood Markets: 3
  • Sam’s Clubs: 6
  • Distribution Centers: 1

In the fiscal year ended 2006, Wal-Mart collected on behalf of the state of Kansas more than $228.5 million in sales taxes and paid more than $27.4 million in state and local taxes.
Click here to learn more about Wal-Mart in Kansas

About Wal-Mart Stores
Every week, more than 176 million customers visit Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, Sam’s Clubs or a subsidiary location in 15 countries around the world.  In each of the countries where Wal-Mart operates, the company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of operating globally and giving back locally.  Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $270 million to these local communities.

EDITOR’S NOTES

  • An invitation-only open house for VIPs, Wal-Mart associates and their families is scheduled for Jan. 19, at 6 p.m. Preview tours will be provided.  Reporters and photographers are welcome.
  • Store Manager Shawn Steinkamp can provide details about the grand opening, offer quotes for interviews and arrange for photo opportunities or preview tours.  He can be contacted at (785) 357-4827.
FACT SHEET
Topeka Wal-Mart Supercenter

Store fast facts

  • Location: 2600 N.W. Rochester Road, Topeka, Kan.
  • 188,400-square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenter
  • Store opening 8 a.m., Monday, Jan. 22; 7:30 a.m. grand opening ceremony
  • Store manager: Shawn Steinkamp

Charitable giving
$37,500 in charitable contributions to 13 area organizations:

  • Operation Homefront
  • Seaman School District
  • Topeka Rescue Mission
  • Helping Hands Humane Society
  • The Villages
  • Oakland Community Center
  • Papan’s Landing Senior Center
  • Sheltered Living
  • American Red Cross/Kansas Capital Area       Chapter
  • Lets Help/Heartland Share
  • American Legion Post 410
  • City of Topeka Police Department
  • City of Topeka Fire Department

Store features

  • Full line of groceries, bakery goods, deli foods, frozen foods, meat and dairy products, fresh produce, apparel and accessories, fine jewelry, health and beauty aids, toys, Tire & Lube Express, vision center, Subway restaurant, family fun center, Commerce Bank & Trust branch, one-hour photo lab, upscale pharmacy, Regis hair salon, Wal-Mart Connect Center and beer sales
  • Expanded home electronics, home décor selection and lawn and garden center
  • Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week

Employment

  • More than 1,200 applications have been received; the store plans to employ approximately 340 associates.
  • The national average wage at Wal-Mart for full-time hourly associates is approximately $10.11 per hour.*
  • Store Manager Shawn Steinkamp began his Wal-Mart career as an hourly associate 10 years ago at a store in Warrensburg, Mo.
  • Wal-Mart benefits – available to full- and part-time associates – include healthcare insurance with no lifetime maximum.  Wal-Mart also offers a 401(k) plan and profit sharing contributions, whether an associate contributes or not, store discount cards, performance-based bonuses, discounted stock purchase program and life insurance.

* Average wage taken December 2005.  See www.walmartfacts.com for details. 

For more information

  • Store manager: Shawn Steinkamp, (785) 357-4827
  • Wal-Mart information online: www.walmartfacts.com; merchandise sales: www.walmart.com
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