Shoppers and thrill seekers turned out in droves to the newly relocated Walmart store, which opened Friday, Oct. 26, at 273 Common Drive, Franklin. The relocation brings approximately 85 new jobs to the area and opportunities for savings for customers. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“I want to voice appreciation and support of the new Walmart store, for the new jobs in the store itself, plus more jobs from the new and expanded businesses surrounding the new store,” said Franklin Town Manager Sam Greenwood. “The new store also means additional property and sales tax revenue for the town and county.”
“We are proud to be opening during the year that Walmart celebrates the 50th anniversary of its first store opening,” said store manager James Fox. “We look forward to serving the people of our community, helping save them money so they can live better.”
During the opening ceremonies, remarks were made by Mayor Joe Collins, Fox, and District Manager Greg Sharp. Franklin High School B-Naturals sang the National Anthem.
In keeping with Walmart’s central commitment to “operating globally and giving back locally,” Fox presented area schools with sizable grants. Franklin High School received $1,000; Macon Middle received $500; Mountain View Intermediate received $500; and Iotla Valley received $500. Representatives from each school were on hand to accept the grants.
Whether it's a small grant to a local school or a large grant to a hunger relief organization working across several states, Walmart engages in opportunities that align with the Walmart Foundation’s key areas of focus: Hunger Relief & Nutrition, Education, Environmental Sustainability, Women's Economic Empowerment and Workforce Development.
Walmart also honored several of their long-time employees. Cutting the ribbon with Mayor Joe Collins were Joann Justice and Jane Anderson, both of whom have been Franklin Walmart employees since 1988.
Customer convenience and wide product selection
By combining general merchandise and a full line of groceries in one convenient location, the 118,118-square-foot store offers Franklin shoppers the convenience of one-stop shopping close to home.
The new store features a wide assortment of quality, valuepriced merchandise as in the old store, plus the addition of an expanded grocery area.
The grocery area includes a wide selection of fresh produce, including a variety of organic products. Other features include a full bakery, meat and dairy products, dry goods and staples, beverages, frozen foods, canned and packaged goods, baking items and household supplies. For added convenience, the store will also offer a Walmart Connect Center.
The pharmacy offers 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 right corner of the store.
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.
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 are 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 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.
The new Franklin Walmart will employ approximately 300 associates, including 85 new positions created by the relocation, according to Fox. The average wage at Walmart for full-time hourly associates in North Carolina is approximately $12.66 per hour (as of July 2012). 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 the company’s managers began their Walmart careers as hourly associates.