Skyland Walmart Brings Savings and Convenience to Asheville

New Walmart provides 220 jobs

ASHEVILLE, N.C., Aug. 4, 2010 – A new Walmart opens this month in Asheville, bringing 220 new jobs, savings for local shoppers and an increase in tax revenue to support the area’s economy. Nonprofit organizations will also benefit from the retailer’s ongoing charitable contributions and support for community projects. The Walmart, located at 1636 Hendersonville Road, will be open to customers at 8 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 18.

“The Skyland Walmart grand opening is certainly cause for celebration,” said Asheville Mayor Terry M. Bellamy. “I’m looking forward to seeing the store’s positive impact on our community. Not only will the store impact the community through job creation, but as our economy regains strength, it is important that local shoppers have access to affordable goods and services.”

Economic Impact Includes 220 New Jobs

The new Skyland Walmart will employ approximately 220 associates, according to store manager Kim Morrison. Morrison began her Walmart career in 1989 as a cashier at a store in Forest City.

Store Designed to Improve Customer Experience

In recent months, Walmart has taken major steps to refresh its stores, merchandising and customer experience. The improvements have all come together in the company’s newest stores, such as the Asheville Walmart, with fast service, a friendly shopping experience and clean stores.

The new Walmart features wide aisles, enhanced service and a layout designed to make the shopping experience more convenient for customers. Walmart aligned the departments that customers shop most frequently.

“The layout of the store is easy to navigate, which will save our customers time as they shop for everyday necessities,” said Morrison. “By grouping the products that our customers most often purchase including health and beauty and pet supplies, we are making one-stop shopping even easier.”

A bright interior color palette creates an inviting shopping experience and helps define the store’s merchandise areas. Lower shelving creates an improved sightline and directional signage on every aisle helps customers find what they are looking for quickly.

Community Organizations Benefit from Grand-Opening Grants

As part of Walmart’s commitment to the communities in which it operates, $19,000 in grants from the Walmart Foundation will be presented as part of the grand-opening celebration. Loving Food Resources will receive $5,000. The Skyland store is sponsoring this organization as part of Walmart’s Fighting Hunger Together campaign.

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have committed $2 billion to U.S. hunger relief efforts through 2015. The Fighting Hunger Together campaign will also engage Walmart customers and associates in the fight against hunger. More information can be found at walmart.com/fightinghunger.

The following organizations will each receive $2,500 to support programs that serve the community: All Souls Community Center, Asheville Buncombe Community in Christ, Homeward Bound of Asheville, and the Literacy Council of Buncombe County. The Alzheimer’s Association, Cleaning for a Reason, and Skyland Fire and Rescue Department will each receive $1,000, and the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts will each receive $500.

Store Design Incorporates Environmentally Friendly Features

The Skyland Walmart, like all new Walmart stores, includes energy-efficient technology and environmentally friendly features to reduce energy and water consumption and minimize waste. LED lighting in the store operates 70 percent more efficiently than traditional fluorescent lighting. Low-flow toilets and faucets reduce the water used in the bathrooms. The new store also operates a recycling program that includes organic composting and will promote sustainable product purchases.

Ribbon-Cutting Celebration 7:30 a.m., Aug. 18

Community and business leaders will join Walmart associates at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday for a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony. Morrison and other associates will cut the ribbon to the new store.

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.

FACT SHEET
Skyland Walmart

Store facts

  • Location: 1636 Hendersonville Road, Asheville, N.C.
  • 115,434-square-foot Walmart
  • Store opens at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 18, following a 7:30 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony
  • Store manager: Kim Morrison
  • 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, liquor, beer and wine
  • More than 30 merchandise departments such as apparel and accessories, a lawn and garden center, health and beauty aids, and an expanded electronics department
  • Convenience services include a pharmacy, digital photo processing center and Walmart Connect Center
  • The store features a Subway restaurant

Charitable giving

$19,000 in grants from the Walmart Foundation to the following area organizations

  • All Souls Community Center
  • Alzheimer’s Association
  • Asheville Buncombe Community in Christ
  • Boy Scouts
  • Cleaning for a Reason
  • Girl Scouts
  • Homeward Bound of Asheville
  • Literacy Council of Buncombe County
  • Loving Food Resources
  • Skyland Fire and Rescue Department

Employment

  • Store plans to employ approximately 220 associates
  • The average wage at Walmart for full-time hourly associates in North Carolina is approximately $11.90 per hour*
  • 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 July 2010. See www.walmartstores.com for details.

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