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Walmart on East Freeway in Houston Unveils New Shopping Experience

 Store adds 85 jobs, grocery, deli, bakery and wider selection of merchandise

HOUSTON, Aug. 19, 2011 – The newly expanded Houston Walmart, located at 13750 E. Freeway, off of Interstate 10 near the junction with Beltway 8, 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 Terry Castillo and store associates to celebrate the expansion and renovations during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 8 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 31.

Walmart added 30,000 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 1988,” said store manager Terry Castillo. “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.”

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,” Castillo said. She started her career with Walmart in 1988 as an hourly associate, working as a sales clerk at the store in Brownsville. She is one of 93 of the Houston store’s associates who have worked for Walmart for more than 10 years. Thirteen of those associates have worked at the store since its original opening in 1988.

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 east Houston Walmart, with fast service, a friendly shopping experience and clean stores.

The expansion also brings 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.

The 179,000-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, such as placing health and beauty products near the pharmacy and pet food closer to household items and 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 Castillo. “By grouping the products that our customers most often purchase together, 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 Houston 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, 8 a.m., Aug. 31

The grand re-opening celebration is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 31. Community and businesses leaders will join store associates for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 8 a.m.

About Walmart
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at over 9,600 retail units under 69 different banners in 28 countries. With fiscal year 2011 sales of $419 billion, Walmart employs 2.1 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 http://walmartstores.com and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com.

FACT SHEET
Houston Walmart

Store facts

  • Location: 13750 E. Freeway, Houston, Texas
  • 179,000-square-foot Walmart, gaining an additional 30,000 square feet
  • Store will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 8 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 31
  • Store manager: Terry Castillo
  • 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 busy people on-the-go, 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 and a Walmart Connect Center
  • Leased areas and services include a McDonald’s restaurant, Woodforest Bank and a Ticketmaster kiosk

Employment

  • 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 Texas is approximately $12.03 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.

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