New Walmart provides 140 jobs, plus savings on wide selection of merchandise
BLAIR, Neb., March 1, 2012 – A new Walmart opens this month in Blair, bringing 140 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 Walmart, located at 1882 Holly St., will be open to customers at 8 a.m., Wednesday, March 14.
Economic Impact Includes 140 New Jobs
The new Blair Walmart will employ approximately 140 associates, according to store manager Joe McBreen. McBreen began his Walmart career in 2000 as a store associate in the toys department at a store in Omaha, Neb. Several associates have worked for Walmart for more than 10 years and come from nearby stores.
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 Blair 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 health and beauty making it easier for customers to pick up their prescriptions while shopping for their everyday needs.
“The layout of the store is easy to navigate, which will save our customers time as they shop for everyday necessities,” said McBreen. “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 and Site-to-Store pick-up location 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 Grants
As part of Walmart’s commitment to the communities in which it operates, grants from the Walmart Foundation will be presented during the grand opening and throughout the year. Organizations receiving grants during the grand opening all provide support to the Blair community. Grants will total $14,000 for the year, $10,000 will be given away during the grand-opening celebration.
Store Design Incorporates Environmentally Friendly Features
The Blair 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 that includes organic composting and will promote sustainable product purchases.
Ribbon-Cutting Celebration 7:30 a.m., March 14
Blair Mayor James Realph and Blair Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Harriet Waite, along with other community and business leaders, will join Walmart associates at 7:30 a.m., Wednesday, March 14 for a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony. McBreen and other associates will cut the ribbon to the new store. West Elementary second- and third -grade students will sing the national anthem as members from the Blair Veterans of Foreign Wars present the colors.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at over 10,000 retail units under 69 different banners in 27 countries. With fiscal year 2012 sales of $444 billion, Walmart employs 2.2 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 http://walmartstores.com, and on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com.
- Location: 1882 Holly St., Blair, Neb.
- 96,000 square-foot Walmart
- Store opens at 8 a.m., Wednesday, March 14, following a 7:30 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony
- Store manager: Joe McBreen
- Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week
- Full line of groceries, including a bakery, a deli with 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 garden center, health and beauty aids, and an expanded electronics department
- Convenience services include a drive-thru pharmacy, digital photo processing center and Walmart Connect Center
- $14,000 from the Walmart Foundation will be presented throughout the year to area organizations, $10,000 will be given during the grand opening celebration.
- Store plans to employ approximately 140 associates
- The average wage at Walmart for full-time hourly associates in Nebraska is approximately $11.79 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, an Associate Stock Purchase Program and company-paid life insurance. Additionally, eligible associates receive a quarterly incentive based on store performance.
* Average wage taken October 2011. See www.walmartstores.com for details.