Expanded Walmart provides 85 new jobs, full line of groceries, savings on wide selection of merchandise
FOREST PARK, Ill., July 18, 2012 – A newly expanded Walmart opens this month in Forest Park, bringing 85 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 expanded Forest Park Walmart, located at 1300 Des Plaines Ave., will be unveiled to customers Wednesday, July 18, following an 8 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Forest Park Mayor Anthony Calderone appreciates Walmart’s commitment to the community and says that Walmart has built a loyal base in Forest Park. “With its expansion and new superstore in Forest Park, Walmart’s investment is very significant and a welcome upgrade in retail services for our community,” Calderone said. “We appreciate the care with which the company designed the site and the exterior treatments of the building, and believe it will help set the tone for future retail development in the village.”
Economic Impact Includes 85 New Jobs
The new Forest Park Walmart will employ approximately 300 associates, according to store manager Mark Dennison, including 85 new positions created by the expansion. Dennison began his Walmart career in 1991 as an assistant manager at the Walmart in East Liverpool, Ohio. Eighteen associates have worked for Walmart since the store originally opened in 1994, and 65 associates have worked for Walmart for 10 years.
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 Forest Park Walmart, with fast service and a layout designed to make the shopping experience more convenient for customers.
“The layout of the store is easy to navigate, which will save our customers time as they shop for everyday necessities,” said Dennison. “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.
Expanded Departments Add Value and Savings
The store now offers customers a complete grocery department, including a bakery featuring custom cakes and artisan breads, deli, dairy, frozen food, a meat department and fresh produce. The pharmacy is now adjacent to health and beauty, making it easier for customers to pick up their prescriptions while shopping for their everyday needs.
The electronics department features a wide selection of the latest consumer electronics and home entertainment, including hi-definition Blu-ray, video gaming and portable electronics. The new digital photo lab is located in the electronics department and can produce posters, customized greeting cards, calendars and digital prints. Customers now have easy access to these services with associates on hand to help meet their needs.
The Forest Park Walmart also now has a Celebration Station featuring party supplies, greeting cards, balloons, helium tanks, cake supplies and gift wrap. Walmart also combined the customer service desk and Site-to-Store pick-up location in one area near the entrance.
Store Design Incorporates Environmentally Friendly Features
Like all newly expanded Walmart stores, the Forest Park Walmart 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.
Low-flow toilets and faucets reduce the water used in the bathrooms. The store also operates a recycling program, an organic waste recycling program and will promote sustainable product purchases.
Ribbon-Cutting Celebration 8 a.m., July 18
Community and business leaders will join Walmart associates and Dennison at 8 a.m., Wednesday, July 18, for a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at more than 10,130 retail units under 69 different banners in 27 countries. With fiscal year 2012 sales of approximately $444 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 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.
Forest Park Walmart
- Location: 1300 Des Plaines Ave., Forest Park, Ill.
- 150,000 square-foot Walmart
- Store unveiled Wednesday, July 18; following an 8 a.m., ribbon-cutting ceremony.
- Store manager: Mark Dennison
- Open from 6 a.m. to midnight, 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 MoneyCenter, vision center, digital photo processing center and Walmart Connect Center
- Leased space includes a Subway restaurant.
- Store plans to employ approximately 300 associates, including 85 positions created by the expansion
- The average wage at Walmart for full-time hourly associates in Illinois is approximately $12.85 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 April 2012. See www.walmartstores.com for details.