With Store Manager Scott Huddleston, Sophie Roy and Natalie Senior from Champlain Valley Union High School sing "The Star Spangled Banner" at the Walmart ribbon cutting Friday morning. VBM photos
Vermont Business Magazine Williston Walmart shoppers got their first look at the newly remodeled store at 863 Harvest Lane Friday morning, as the much-anticipated project is now complete and a grand reopening ribbon-cutting took place. The relatively small store, by Walmart standards, has always been a busy and successful one since it opened in January 1997. By comparison, the Williston store is 114,000 square feet and the new St Albans store is 150,000 square feet. The "multi-million dollar renovation" to the Williston store improves signage and logistics. It also expands grocery, cosmetic and electronic offerings, while less popular, un-named products will be reduced.
The event featured many of its 250 employees, managers from other stores, Store Manager Scott Huddleston, Regional Marketing Manager Tina Rodriguez, the National Anthem, an invocation, the Walmart cheer and the words "you all" in a Southern accent (Huddleston is originally from Mississippi and Rodriguez came from Arkansas). The place was also sparkling.
Huddleston said that while Walmart has considered expanding the footprint of the store, there are no plans as of yet to do so. Customers will still have to negotiate center islands at the highly trafficked aisle near the pharmacy.
Customers also will see the following store improvements:
State-of-the-art electronics department with interactive displays
Completely remodeled pharmacy with new consultation room and additional service lanes
New tool department with a new look and added variety of tools
Wider aisles and lower fixtures for an improved store flow and easier navigation throughout the whole store
New layout and larger assortment in home
“This remodel, along with our everyday low prices, represents our continued investment in Williston,” Huddleston said. “Listening to customers and incorporating the products they want is what it means to be a store of the community.”
Along with customer benefits, local schools received donations from Walmart as part of the celebration: St Albans City School, $2,500; Champlain Valley Union High School, $2,000; and Hinesubrg Community School, $1,500.
At Walmart, associates have access to competitive wages, affordable benefits, and the chance to build a career. More than 75 percent of store management teams started as hourly associates and 40 percent of those promotions went to associates within the first year of their employment.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better - anytime and anywhere - in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, nearly 260 million customers and members visit our 11,593 stores under 63 banners in 28 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2017 revenue of $486 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.4 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/walmart.