Friday morning, Walmart officials and associates gathered in the front of the North Gloster Street Supercenter to celebrate the grand reopening of the store, which underwent 31⁄2 months of interior renovations.
According to store manager Howard Brannon, the remodeling included updating the colors, expanding the electronics department, making the aisles wider and regrouping merchandise.
“So far, customers like the look, but they can’t find anything,” Brannon said.
Maps are set up in the entrances to help customers navigate the store, which has about 350 employees.
Sammy Sappington, a Walmart market manager, said the remodel helped make the store more female-friendly. Now, if customers enter through the north entrance by the pharmacy, the female-oriented categories are grouped there. Apparel is on the left and items for the home, such as kitchen items, sheets, bathroom decor, pillows, are on the right.
Sappington estimated that women make up about 60 percent to 70 percent of Walmart shoppers.
The store’s inventory also was reduced as part of the remodeling, especially in the food department. Sappington encouraged shoppers at the Friday event to tell a manager if they used to buy an item before the remodel and can’t find it now but still would like to buy it.
The remodeling is part of a corporate effort from Wal-Mart Stores, which has slowed new store openings to focus on updating its current store base.
According to Sappington, about 400 U.S. stores are slated for remodeling this year. In Northeast Mississippi, remodels in Oxford and Batesville should wrap up in the next two weeks.
Walmart already has begun remodeling its Fulton store, with work expected to wrap up in June.
The West Main store in Tupelo is scheduled to be remodeled next year, Sappington said.
The plan, he said, is to remodel all the stores along the corridor from Batesville to Fulton.
Contact Carlie Kollath at (662) 678-1598 or email@example.com.
As part of its celebratoin Walmart donated about $5,100 total to the following:
- Saltillo Fire Department
- Richomnd Volunteer Fire Department
- Tupelo Fire Department
- Verona Fire Department
- Tupelo Police Department
- Lee County Sheriff's Department
- American Legion Post 49
- American Red Cross/Haitian relief