Northeast Georgia Walmarts Unveil New Design

Renovated stores offers a glimpse into the next generation of shopping

HARTWELL, Ga., June 14, 2010 – The Walmart at 1572 Anderson Highway in Hartwell and the Walmart at 955 Elbert St. in Elberton will celebrate grand re-openings this week, giving local shoppers a glimpse of the company’s next generation of store design and customer experience. The results of the three-month remodeling projects will be unveiled at both stores Friday, June 18, during grand re-opening ceremonies at 8 a.m. in Hartwell and 7:30 a.m. in Elberton. Among the many improvements are a new layout, wider aisles, low-profile shelving, bright interior paint scheme, enhanced lighting and easy-to-read signage to make the shopping experience more convenient for customers than ever before.

“We listened to our customers and have redesigned the store to make shopping at Walmart even easier,” said Hartwell store manager Eddie Cheek.

“Walmart has been a tremendous asset to Hartwell and Hart County for over 20 years,” said Bill Leard, vice chairman, Hart County Chamber of Commerce. “They have supported our community financially through sales tax revenues and property tax, and their support for our local schools and community projects has always been appreciated. We wish them success in their grand re-opening.”

“We appreciate Walmart making a commitment to our community by upgrading and renovating their location here in Elberton,” said Jackson McConnell, chairman, Elbert County Chamber of Commerce.

New Layout Improves Customer Experience

The remodeled stores feature a more open shopping environment with wider aisles that contain no product displays. Walmart also aligned the departments that customers shop most frequently, making it quicker to purchase everyday items.

“The new layout is easier to navigate, which will save our customers time as they shop for necessities,” said Elberton store manager Mary Jo House.

A bright interior paint scheme and enhanced lighting create a more inviting shopping experience and help define the stores’ merchandise areas. Low-profile shelving creates an improved sightline and directional signage helps customers find the products they need.

Expanded Departments Add Value and Savings

The remodel also brings Hartwell Walmart customers an expanded electronics department featuring a wide selection of the latest consumer electronics and home entertainment. The new design includes a more hands-on experience for customers with interactive displays for hi-definition Blu-ray, video gaming and portable electronics. The interactive experience enables shoppers to test new technology including laptops, cameras, phones and GPS units before purchase.

The Hartwell store also features an expanded produce department. The remodeled Elberton store features an expanded grocery line, including a new frozen foods section and an expanded dairy section, as well as additional dry groceries. It also has an expanded infants department.

At both stores a new department called Celebration Station has been added and will feature party supplies, greeting cards, balloons and helium tanks, cake supplies and gift wrap.

In addition to updated signage on the exterior, the Hartwell store features new metal roofing on its front entrances. A new walkway and landscaping on the side of the Elberton store makes an easy path for residents of the neighboring retirement community.

Grand Re-opening Activities Include Support for Local Organizations

The grand re-opening celebrations are scheduled for Friday, June 18, and will begin with ribbon-cutting ceremonies at 8 a.m. in Hartwell and 7:30 a.m. in Elberton. During the ceremonies, store associates will present grants from the Walmart Foundation to local service organizations.

From the Hartwell store this includes Habitat for Humanity, Hart County Chamber of Commerce, Hart County High School Skills USA, Kiwanis International, Nancy Hart Literacy, Northeast Georgia Animal Shelter and Northeast Georgia Council on Domestic Violence. In addition, a Volunteerism Always Pays (VAP) grant for $250 will be awarded to Hart County Clothes Closet. Through Walmart’s VAP program, store associates may request charitable contributions on behalf of eligible organizations where they volunteer.

For the Elberton store, this includes the Elbert County 4-H Club, the Humane Society of Elbert County and Safehouse Ministries.

“Walmart has been a good corporate citizen over the years by providing space for local fundraisers, offering matching funds to many of them and making charitable donations to other community efforts,” said McConnell. “Of course, the 110-plus jobs they provide are invaluable, and their employees are involved in many community activities.”

About Walmart

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT), or “Walmart,” serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at more than 8,400 retail units under 55 different banners in 15 countries. With fiscal year 2010 sales of $405 billion, Walmart employs more than 2 million associates worldwide. A leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity, Walmart ranked first among retailers in Fortune Magazine’s 2009 Most Admired Companies survey. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting www.walmartstores.com and on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/walmart. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com and www.samsclub.com.

# # #

EDITOR’S NOTES

  • Eddie Cheek and Mary Jo House, store managers, can provide details about the grand re-opening, offer quotes for interviews and arrange for photo opportunities or preview tours. They can be contacted at 706-376-5400 and 706-283-8660, respectively.
  • Walmart PR and Brand Reputation, 800-331-0085
  • Walmart information online: www.walmartstores.com; merchandise sales: www.walmart.com
  • Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is the legal trade name of the corporation. The name "Walmart," expressed as one word and without punctuation, is a trademark of the company and is used analogously to describe the company and its stores. Use the trade name when it is necessary to identify the legal entity, such as when reporting financial results, litigation or corporate governance.