New Walmart provides 125 jobs
ALMA, Mich., July 11, 2011 – A new Walmart opens this month in Alma, bringing 125 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 new Walmart, located at 7945 N. Alger Road, will be open to customers at 8:15 a.m., Wednesday, July 20.
Economic Impact Includes 125 New Jobs
Approximately 125 associates are employed at the new Alma Walmart, according to store manager Russell Jerome. More than 100 of the store’s associates have worked for Walmart for more than 10 years. Jerome is a Michigan native who began his Walmart career in 1995 as an hourly sales associate at a store in Alma.
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 Alma 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 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 Jerome. “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 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.
Community Organizations Benefit from Grand-Opening Grants
As part of Walmart’s commitment to the communities in which it operates, $5,000 in grants from the Walmart Foundation will be presented during the grand-opening celebration. The following organizations will each receive $1,000 to support programs that serve the community: St. Mary’s Church Food Pantry, Child Advocacy, T.A. Cutler Memorial Library, Alma P.A.L. Soccer and Vestaburg’s Community Schools 5K Run.
Store Design Incorporates Environmentally Friendly Features
The Alma 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. The new store also operates a recycling program and will promote sustainable product purchases.
Ribbon-Cutting Celebration 7:30 a.m., July 20
Community and business leaders will join Walmart associates at 7:30 a.m., Wednesday, July 20, for a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony. Barber Shop Singers “Mistatesmen” will perform the national anthem, and members of a local Boy Scouts of America troop will present the colors. Alma Mayor Melvin Nyman, St. Louis Mayor Joe Sholtz and Alma Chamber Members Roger Cook and Patricia Earegood will cut the ribbon to the new store.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at more than 9,000 retail units under 60 different banners in 15 countries. With fiscal year 2011 sales of $419 billion, Walmart employs more than 2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting www.walmartstores.com, on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/Walmart, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/walmart. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com and www.samsclub.com.
- Location: 7000 N. Alger Road, Alma, Mich.
- 150,000-square-foot Walmart
- Store opens at 8:15 a.m., Wednesday, July 20, following a 7:30 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony
- Store manager: Russell Jerome
- Open 24 hours a day, 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, vision center, digital photo processing center, Walmart Connect Center and a MoneyCenter
- Leased areas and services include a SmartStyle Family Hair Salon, Subway restaurant and a branch of Sun Trust Bank.
$5,000 in grants from the Walmart Foundation to the following area organizations:
- St. Mary's Church Food Pantry
- Child Advocacy
- T.A. Cutler Memorial Library
- Alma P.A.L. Soccer
- Vestaburg Schools 5K Run
- Store plans to employ approximately 125 associates
- The average wage at Walmart for full-time hourly associates in Michigan is approximately $12.10 per hour*
- Walmart’s benefit program is available to eligible full- and part-time associates and provides a variety of affordable health and well-being benefits including medical insurance with no lifetime maximum. Walmart also offers matching 401(k) contributions of up to 6 percent of pay, discounts on general merchandise for store associates, a Sam’s Club membership for club associates, an Associate Stock Purchase Program and company-paid life insurance. Additionally, eligible associates receive an annual incentive based on the company performance.
* Average wage taken June 2011. See www.walmartstores.com for details.