Newly relocated Walmart provides 200 new jobs, $8,500 in local grants
ERIE, Pa., Oct. 18, 2010 – A new Walmart opens this month in the Greater Erie area, bringing 200 new jobs, savings for local shoppers and an increase in tax revenue to support the area’s economy. The relocated Walmart, located at 1825 Downs Drive, will be open to customers immediately following a 7:30 a.m. grand-opening ceremony Wednesday, Oct. 27.
The new Walmart in Summit Township will employ a total of 375 associates, including 200 new jobs created as a result of the relocation, according to store manager David Porter. Porter began his Walmart career in 1991 as a temporary associate and cart pusher in East Liverpool, Ohio.
“Employment during these economic times is of the utmost importance,” said Summit Township Supervisor Marlin Coon. “Every single job and employment opportunity is good for Summit Township and our citizens. We are glad to see the 200 new jobs,” added Coon.
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 Summit Township Walmart, with fast service, a friendly shopping experience and clean stores.
The new Walmart features 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 pharmacy, for example, is adjacent to food making it easier for customers to pick up their prescriptions while shopping for their groceries.
“The layout of the store is easy to navigate, which will save our customers time as they shop for everyday necessities,” said Porter. “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. Walmart also combined the customer service desk, Site-to-Store pick-up location and digital photo lab in one area near the entrance. Customers now have easy access to these services, as well as associates on hand to help meet their needs.
“Through the entire construction period, Walmart and its contractors have been excellent to work with,” said Coon. “The contractors did quality work, and both Walmart and those working on the project were a pleasure to work with. Every single thing we asked Walmart to do, they did to the highest professional level.”
Store Design Incorporates Environmentally Friendly Features
The Greater Erie Walmart, 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 in the store operates 70 percent more efficiently than traditional fluorescent lighting. 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.
Ribbon-Cutting Celebration 7:30 a.m., Oct. 27
Several community and business leaders will join Walmart associates at 7:30 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 27 for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Local Marines will present the colors and Walmart associate Holly Nye will sing the national anthem. Fifteen associates who have worked at the Summit Township Walmart since its original grand opening in 1995 will join store manager David Porter in cutting the ribbon to mark the official opening of the new store on Downs Drive.
Community Organizations Benefit from Grand-Opening Grants
As part of Walmart’s commitment to the communities in which it operates, $8,500 in grants from the Walmart Foundation will be presented during the grand-opening celebration. The following organizations will each receive funds to support programs that serve the community: the Alzheimer’s Association - Greater Pennsylvania chapter, the Barber National Institute, the Erie City Mission, the Erie Zoological Society, the Kanzius Cancer Research Foundation, the Perry Hi-Way Hose Company, the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwestern Pennsylvania, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Pennsylvania and Southern West Virginia.
“Walmart's associates and management have always been very strong supporters of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and have helped turn dreams into reality for many deserving children,” said Jan Stork, regional director of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Pennsylvania and Southern West Virginia. “We are so pleased to see our partnership with Walmart continue in such a significant way through this grand opening. Not only have they been generous through community grants, but each year Walmart associates volunteer dozens of hours at Make-A-Wish events, resulting in even more donations. Additionally, the associates go out of their way to make shopping spree wishes extraordinary for our children and their families. We are so grateful for their continued and generous support.”
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.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT), or “Walmart,” serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at more than 8,600 retail units under 55 different banners in 15 countries. With fiscal year 2010 sales of $405 billion, Walmart employs more than 2.0 million associates worldwide. A leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity, Walmart ranked first among retailers in Fortune Magazine’s 2010 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.
Summit Township Walmart
- Location: 1825 Downs Drive, Summit Township, Pa.
- Former location: 1900 Keystone Drive
- 204,000-square-foot Walmart, gaining an additional 79,000 square feet due to the relocation
- Store opens Wednesday, Oct. 27, following a 7:30 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony
- Store manager: David Porter
- Open 24 hours, seven days a week
- Full line of groceries including a bakery, a deli serving fresh food and meal solutions for moms, meat and dairy products, fresh produce, and 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 a Walmart Connect Center
- Leased areas and services include a SmartStyle Family Hair Salon, Subway restaurant and a branch of Woodforest Bank
$8,500 in grants from the Walmart Foundation to the following area organizations
- Alzheimer’s Association - Greater Pennsylvania chapter
- Barber National Institute
- Erie City Mission
- Erie Zoological Society
- Kanzius Cancer Research Foundation
- Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Pennsylvania and Southern West Virginia
- Perry Hi-Way Hose Company
- Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwestern Pennsylvania
- Store plans to employ approximately 375 associates, including about 200 new associates
- The average wage at Walmart for full-time hourly associates in Pennsylvania is approximately $12.75 per hour*
- Walmart benefits – available 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 September 2010. See www.walmartstores.com for details.