Walmart Brings Savings and Convenience to Lakeland

Expanded store adds full line of groceries and 100 new jobs

LAKELAND, Fla., Oct. 21, 2009 – The wait is over for residents in Lakeland eager to see their Walmart at 3501 S. Florida Ave. bring savings on a full line of groceries and a wide assortment of new products and services. The new Walmart is designed to make shopping easy for customers. The store’s expansion brings 100 new jobs to the community. The store will unveil the new expansion to customers at 8 a.m., Wednesday, after a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“We have a loyal customer base and some have been shopping here since our original opening,” said Store Manager Gina Tuten. “We think they’ll love the new, easy-to-shop layout of the store and appreciate the savings we offer on the products they need and want.”

New Layout Improves Customer Experience
The Lakeland Walmart also features a new layout and updated design. In recent months, Walmart has taken major steps to refresh its stores, its merchandise and its customer experience. The improvements have all come together in the company’s newest stores with faster service, a friendlier shopping experience and cleaner stores.

“The layout of the stores is easy to navigate, which will save customers time as they shop for everyday necessities at our unbeatable prices,” said Tuten. “By grouping the products that our customers most often purchase we are making one-stop shopping even easier.”

The new layout creates an open shopping environment with wider aisles that contain no product displays. Lower shelving throughout the store creates an improved sightline and directional signage on every aisle helps customers find what they are looking for quickly.

Expanded Walmart Adds 100 New Jobs
The store plans to employ approximately 300 associates, including approximately 100 positions created by the expansion. “Joining Walmart was a great career decision for me, as it has been for so many of my fellow associates,” Tuten said. “I am proud to bring good jobs with career opportunities to our community.”

Store Design Incorporates Environmentally Friendly Features
The Lakeland store, like all new Walmart stores, includes energy-efficient technology and environmentally friendly features to reduce energy and water consumption and minimize waste. The store’s skylights harvest daylight and reduce the amount of energy required to light the store by up to 75 percent daily. LED lighting throughout the store operates 70 percent more efficiently than traditional fluorescent lighting. Part of the cement used in the concrete flooring is made with recycled materials, and the floor’s finish reduces the need for chemical cleaners. Low-flow toilets and faucets reduce the water used in the bathrooms.

Community Organizations Benefit from Grand-Opening Grants
The store is continuing its support of the community by giving $6,000 in grants from the Walmart Foundation to local organizations. The grant recipients include Adopt-A-Nursing Home, Elks Club, Lake Highland Preparatory School, Lakeland Police Department, Polk County Arthritis Foundation and Tenoroc High School.

About Walmart
Every week, millions of customers visit Walmart stores, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Club locations across America or log on to its online store at www.walmart.com. The company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally. Walmart (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 $378 million to local communities in the United States.

FACT SHEET
Lakeland Walmart

Store facts

  • Location: 3501 S. Florida Ave., Lakeland, Fla.
  • 148,000-square-foot Walmart
  • Store opens at 8 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 28, following a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony
  • Store manager: Gina Tuten
  • Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week

Store features

  • Full line of groceries including a bakery, a deli serving fresh food and meal solutions for moms, meat and dairy products, fresh produce and a full liquor department
  • More than 30 merchandise departments such as apparel and accessories, lawn and garden center, health and beauty aids, and an expanded electronics department
  • Convenience services include a pharmacy, vision center, digital photo processing center and Walmart Connect Center
  • Leased areas and services include a branch of Urban Trust Bank

Charitable giving

  • $6,000 in grants from the Walmart Foundation to the following area organizations:
  • Adopt-A-Nursing Home
  • Elks Club
  • Lake Highland Preparatory School
  • Lakeland Police Department
  • Polk County Arthritis Foundation
  • Tenoroc High School

Employment

  • Store plans to employ approximately 300 associates, including approximately 100 positions added by the expansion.
  • The average wage at Walmart for full-time hourly associates in Florida is approximately $11.58 per hour*
  • Tuten began her Walmart career in 1990 as an hourly associate at a store in Plant City.
  • Eighty-four of the store’s associates have worked for Walmart for more than 10 years.
  • Walmart benefits – available to eligible full- and part-time associates – include health insurance with no lifetime maximum. Walmart also offers a 401(k) plan and profit sharing contributions, whether an associate contributes or not, store discount cards, company performance-based bonuses, stock purchase program and life insurance

* Average wage taken May 2009. See www.walmartstores.com for details.

For More Information

  • Store Manager Gina Tuten is available for interviews and to arrange photo opportunities or tours. She can be reached at 863-644-5676.
  • Walmart information online: www.walmartstores.com; merchandise sales: www.walmart.com

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