Store adds 85 jobs, grocery, deli, bakery and wider selection of merchandise
GRANITE CITY, Ill., Aug. 1, 2011 – The newly expanded Granite City Walmart, located at 379 W. Pontoon Road, will celebrate its grand opening this month, adding 85 jobs while giving local shoppers a glimpse of the company’s next generation of store design and customer experience. Local dignitaries will join store manager Christopher Sotolar and store associates to celebrate the expansion and renovations during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 7:30 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 10.
Walmart added 37,000 square feet to the building and fully renovated the store with 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. It now features a full line of groceries as well as a bakery, a delicatessen, a frozen food section, and meat, dairy and fresh produce sections. Time-saving services and an expanded merchandise selection add to the store’s one-stop shopping convenience.
“We have a loyal customer base, and some have been shopping here since our original opening in 1992,” said store manager Christopher Sotolar. “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.”
Local leaders are enthusiastic about Walmart’s expansion and its continuing commitment to Granite City. Mayor Ed Hagnauer said, “We have been eagerly awaiting the completion of the new Walmart, as it definitively marks the next step of growth along our Route 3 corridor. The increased availability of products at the store should give our residents further reason to shop in town. The additional traffic the new store is projected to generate should help spur further development nearby. Our Granite City Walmart has been generously supportive in our efforts, and we look forward to continuing our partnership to the betterment of our community.”
Expanded Store Adds 85 New Jobs
The store plans to employ approximately 300 associates, including approximately 85 positions created by the expansion.
“I’m happy to be a part of this expansion, as we now have the opportunity to provide additional jobs and career opportunities to the community,” Sotolar said. He started his career with Walmart in 1988 as an hourly associate, working as a sales clerk at the store in St. Ann, Mo. He is one of 53 of the Granite City store’s associates who have worked for Walmart for more than 10 years. Nine associates have worked at the store since its original opening in 1992.
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 Granite City Walmart, with fast service, a friendly shopping experience and clean stores.
The 135,000-square-foot 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.
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.
“The layout of the store is easy to navigate, which will save our customers time as they shop for everyday necessities,” said Sotolar. “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. Directional signage on every aisle helps customers find what they are looking for quickly.
Store Design Incorporates Environmentally Friendly Features
The newly expanded Granite City 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 store also operates a recycling program and promotes sustainable product purchases.
Ribbon-Cutting Celebration 7:30 a.m., Aug. 10
The grand re-opening celebration is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 10, at 7:30 a.m. Community and businesses leaders will join store associates for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 7:30 a.m.
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.
Granite City Walmart
- Location: 379 W. Pontoon Road, Granite City, Ill.
- 135,000-square-foot Walmart, gaining an additional 37,000 square feet
- Store opens at 7 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 10 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 7:30 a.m.
- Store manager: Christopher Sotolar
- Open 7 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week
- Full line of groceries, including a bakery, a deli serving fresh food and meal solutions for busy people on-the-go, meat and dairy products, fresh produce, and full liquor sales.
- 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 with drive-thru service, digital photo processing center and a Walmart Connect Center
- Leased areas and services include a Subway restaurant and First Community Credit Union.
- Store plans to employ approximately 300 associates, including 85 new positions created by the expansion
- The average wage at Walmart for full-time hourly associates in Illinois is approximately $12.65 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.