New store adds full line of groceries and 200 new jobs
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., Sept. 1, 2011 – The wait is over for residents in Virginia Beach eager to see their Walmart at 657 Phoenix Drive bring savings to local shoppers on a full line of groceries and a wide assortment of new products and services. The new Walmart is designed to make shopping easy for customers. Walmart also 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 store opened to customers at 7:30 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 24 after a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The store originally opened in 1991 in Virginia Beach. The expansion has increased the store’s size by more than 38,000 square feet, including a full line of fresh produce, meats, bakery and an expanded electronics department.
“We have a loyal customer base and some have been shopping here since our original opening,” said store manager Peter Johnson. “We think they’ll love the easy-to-shop layout of the new Walmart and appreciate the savings we offer on the products they are looking for.”
Layout Improves Customer Experience
In recent months, Walmart has taken major steps to refresh its stores, merchandise and customer experience. The improvements have all come together in the company’s newest stores, such as the Virginia Beach store with faster service, a friendlier shopping experience and cleaner stores.
“The layout of the store is easy to navigate, which will save our customers time as they shop for everyday necessities at our unbeatable prices,” said Johnson. “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.”
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.
Expanded Walmart Adds 200 New Jobs
The store plans to employ approximately 400 associates, including approximately 200 positions created by the expansion. “Joining Walmart was a great career decision for me, as it has been for so many of my fellow associates,” Johnson said. “I am proud to work for this company where there are unlimited opportunities and bring those opportunities to our community and neighbors.”
Store Design Incorporates Environmentally Friendly Features
The Virginia Beach store, 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 150 skylights harvest daylight and reduce the amount of energy required to light the store by up to 75 percent daily. LED lighting throughout the store operates 70 percent more efficiently than traditional fluorescent lighting. Part of 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 a.m., Aug. 24
Community and business leaders joined Walmart associates at 7 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24 for a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony. Neighboring store associate Gilda Northern performed the national anthem and the management team cut the ribbon to officially open the expanded store.
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.
Virginia Beach Walmart
- Location: 657 Phoenix Drive, Virginia Beach, Va.
- 156,203 square-foot Walmart, gaining an additional 38,535 square feet
- Store opened at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24, following a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony
- Store manager: Peter Johnson
- Full line of groceries, bakery goods, deli foods, frozen foods, meat and dairy products, fresh produce
- More than 30 merchandise departments such as apparel and accessories, fine jewelry, a lawn and garden center with drive-thru loading area, health and beauty aids, and a full line of electronics
- Convenience services include a pharmacy, vision center, digital photo processing center and Walmart Connect Center
- Leased areas and services include a Subway restaurant
- Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week
- Store plans to employ approximately 400 associates, including approximately 200 positions created by the relocation.
- Ten associates have worked at the store since it originally opened in 1991.
- The average wage at Walmart for full-time hourly associates in Virginia is approximately $11.84 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.