Walmart Ready to Reveal New Store to West Little Rock Shoppers

New Walmart provides 300 jobs, plus savings on wide selection of merchandise

LITTLE ROCK, Ark., Oct. 19, 2012 – Residents of West Little Rock are invited to the grand opening of the Walmart store making its comeback at 700 S. Bowman Road. The store opens Friday, Oct. 26. The grand opening is scheduled for 7:30 a.m., and the store will open to the public immediately following the ceremony. The 151,000-square-foot store is located next door to Sam’s Club and is returning to the area after closing a few years ago. The revived store will now have a full selection of groceries and fresh foods, and will employ approximately 300 associates. It will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“We, at the city, look forward to Walmart’s re-opening of the Bowman Road store,” said Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola. “Creating 300 new jobs, as the economy continues to rebound, is most important.”    

Grand-Opening Events Friday, Oct. 26, and Saturday, Oct. 27
Community and business leaders will join Walmart associates at 7:30 a.m., Friday, Oct. 26, for a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony. 

Customers are encouraged to come to the store grand-opening day to take advantage of a wide variety of events and promotions, including product samplings and giveaways from companies such as Yarnell’s Ice Cream, and character appearances by Twinkie the Kid and Chester Cheetah. Other activities include an FLW professional bass casting pool. Guests can test their fishing skills at the FLW Casting Pond where they can cast, pitch and flip their way to the top of the leaderboard and win great prizes such as FLW caps.

The grand-opening festivities will continue Saturday, Oct. 27, with steak and smoothie samples and a magician, among other activities. All events are family-friendly, free and open to the public. 

“We are proud to be opening during the year that Walmart celebrates the 50th anniversary of its first store opening,” said store manager Tracy Tull.  “We look forward to serving the people of our community, helping save them money so they can live better.”

Customer Convenience and Wide Product Selection
By combining general merchandise and a full line of groceries in one convenient location, the store offers West Little Rock shoppers the convenience of one-stop shopping close to home.

The new store features a wide assortment of quality, value-priced merchandise, including:

  • Family apparel
  • Health and beauty aids
  • Electronics
  • Toys
  • Lawn and garden items
  • Jewelry
  • Automotive products
  • Home furnishings
  • Hardware
  • Sporting goods
  • Pet supplies
  • Housewares

The grocery area will include a wide selection of fresh produce. Other features include a full bakery, meat and dairy products, dry goods and staples, beverages, a deli, frozen foods, canned and packaged goods, baking items, household supplies, and beer and wine.

For added convenience, the store will also offer a vision center, a digital-photo processing center, a Walmart Connect Center and a Walmart MoneyCenter. 

The pharmacy will offer a full range of products and services to support the health and wellness of customers and their families. The pharmacy team can answer questions and offer health and wellness solutions. They can also assist customers who wish to transfer their prescriptions to Walmart. The pharmacy is conveniently located at the front of the store.  

Store Design Incorporates Environmentally Friendly Features
This store features many energy-saving elements, part of Walmart’s overall efforts to reduce the total amount of energy used in stores and other operations. These features include LED lights in signage, freezer cases and the parking lot. This technology uses about 50 percent less energy than traditional lighting.

Community Organizations Benefit from Grand-Opening Grants
Nonprofit organizations will benefit from the retailer’s ongoing charitable contributions and support for community projects. As part of Walmart’s commitment to the communities in which it operates, $3,000 in grants from Walmart and the Walmart Foundation will be presented to local organizations during the grand-opening events. Organizations receiving grants include Quapaw Area Council - Boy Scouts of America, the Muscular Dystrophy Association - Little Rock Chapter, and the Little Rock Boys and Girls Club.    

“We appreciate Walmart’s philanthropic contributions to our community, and we are particularly pleased with their corporate philosophy encouraging sustainability and the protection of the environment,” said Stodola. 

Healthier Food and “Great For You”
Walmart made a major commitment to make food healthier and healthier food more affordable, ensuring families won’t have to choose between a product that is good for them and one they can afford. Steps in the healthier food initiative include:

  • Reformulate thousands of packaged food items by 2015 by reducing sodium and added sugars and removing all remaining industrially produced trans fats.
  • Make healthier choices more affordable by providing savings on fresh produce and reducing the price premium on “better-for-you” items.
  • Provide solutions to address food deserts by bringing stores in underserved communities.
  • Increase charitable support for nutrition programs that help educate consumers about healthier food solutions and choices.

The “Great For You” icon appears on select Great Value and Marketside products as well as fresh and packaged fruits and vegetables. The icon was developed to help customers easily identify nutritious food options so they can make healthier eating choices for themselves and their families. For more information, visit corporate.walmart.com/healthier-food.

Walmart.com Services
Walmart.com services will be available at the store’s entrance. In addition to a digital photo processing lab, the store will also offer two services for customers who shop online. Site-to-Store is a free service that allows customers to ship online orders from www.walmart.com free to any Walmart store for pickup. Pick Up Today is a free service that allows customers to order store items online and pick them up at their local Walmart store that same day (or the next day if items are ordered after 6 p.m. local time).

Pay With Cash
All Walmart stores and Walmart Neighborhood Markets participate in the “Pay With Cash” program. This allows customers to order online at Walmart.com and pay for the items with cash at all stores in the U.S. Walmart is the first major retailer to offer online purchases without the need for banking services or a credit, debit or prepaid card.

Economic Impact Includes Approximately 300 New Jobs
The new West Little Rock Walmart will employ approximately 300 associates, according to Tull. The average wage at Walmart for full-time hourly associates in Arkansas is approximately $11.87 per hour.* Eligible full-time and part-time associates at Walmart are able to take advantage of many employment benefits, including a wide variety of health care plans, 401(k) participation, discounts, membership at Sam’s Club and the opportunity to purchase stock. Nearly 75 percent of our store management team began their Walmart careers as hourly associates.

Tull joined Walmart in 1992 as a cashier at a store in Conway, Ark. Over the years she worked as a stocker, a customer service manager and a department manager prior to joining the company’s management training program. She was an assistant manager in Benton and a shift manager in Conway before being promoted in 2010 to store manager of the Lonoke Walmart.

Pharmacy manager Britni Green is a Russellville native. She received her pharmacy degree from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, and an M.B.A. from the University of Memphis. She has been a pharmacist for more than three years, including six months with Walmart. 

About Walmart
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at over 10,300 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://corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart  and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmartnewsroom . Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com  and http://www.samsclub.com

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