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Kenai Walmart Brings New Jobs and Savings

Kenai Walmart Brings New Jobs and Savings

New store adds shopping conveniences and $15,000 in grants

KENAI, Alaska, March 22, 2010 – A new Walmart opens this month in Kenai, bringing 300 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 Walmart, located at 10096 Kenai Spur Highway, will be open to customers following a 7:30 a.m. grand-opening ceremony Wednesday, March 31.

Economic Impact Includes 300 New Jobs

The new Kenai Walmart will employ approximately 300 associates, the majority of which are full-time, according to store manager Ferdinand Dominic. Dominic began his Walmart career in 1999 as an hourly overnight stocker in Sumter, S.C.  In 2004, Dominic moved to Alaska and worked at stores in Anchorage and Wasilla prior to being named manager of the new Kenai Walmart.  

“For nearly eight years, the number one concern of our residents has been more retail developments in Kenai,” said Mayor Pat Porter.  “Walmart’s announcement to build this store was exciting because our residents will no longer have to drive to other communities to shop for items that used to be unavailable in Kenai.  When I cut the ribbon, I will have my shopping list ready,” added Porter.

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 Kenai Walmart, with fast service, a friendly shopping experience and clean stores.   

The new Walmart features wide aisles, enhanced service and a layout designed to make the shopping experience more convenient for customers. Walmart aligned the departments that customers shop most frequently. The pharmacy, for example, is adjacent to food making it easier for customers to pick up their prescriptions while shopping for their groceries.

“The layout of the store is easy to navigate, which will save our customers time as they shop for everyday necessities,” said Dominic. “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. Walmart also combined the customer service desk and digital photo lab in one area near the entrance. Customers now have easy access to these services, as well as associates on hand to help meet their needs.

Community Organizations Benefit from Grand-Opening Grants

As part of Walmart’s commitment to the communities in which it operates, $15,000 in grants from the Walmart Foundation will be presented during the grand-opening celebration. The Kenai Peninsula Food Bank will receive a $5,000 grant and the Kenai Community Library will receive a $4,000 contribution.  The LeeShore Center, Friendship Mission Inc., and the Kenai Watershed will each receive donations of $2,000. 

Store Design Incorporates Environmentally Friendly Features

The Kenai Walmart, like all new Walmart stores, includes energy-efficient technology and environmentally friendly features to reduce energy and water consumption and minimize waste. The store’s 235 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.

The cement used in the concrete flooring is made with recycled materials, and the floor’s finish reduces the need for chemical cleaners. Low-flow toilets and faucets reduce the water used in the bathrooms. The new store also operates a recycling program and will promote sustainable product purchases.

Ribbon-Cutting Celebration 7:30 a.m., March 31

Community and business leaders will join Walmart associates at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday for a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony.  The Kenai High School Choir will perform the national anthem, and members of the Kenai American Legion will present the colors. Peninsula Grace Brethren Church Sr. Pastor Keith T. Randall will give the invocation.  Mayor Pat Porter, Walmart market manager Marlene Munsell and Kenai Chamber of Commerce representatives will cut the ribbon to the new store.  

About Walmart

Every week, millions of customers visit Walmart stores, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Club locations across America or log on to its online store at www.walmart.com. The company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally. Walmart (NYSE: WMT) is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $378 million to local communities in the United States. More information about Walmart can be found by visiting www.walmartstores.com.

FACT SHEET

Kenai Walmart

Store facts

  • Location: 10096 Kenai Spur Highway, Kenai, Alaska

  • 210,000-square-foot Walmart

  • Store opens Wednesday, March 31, following a 7:30 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony

  • Store manager: Ferdinand Dominic

  • Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week

Store features

  • Full line of groceries including a bakery, a deli serving fresh food and meal solutions for moms, meat and dairy products, fresh produce and a full liquor selection

  • More than 30 merchandise departments such as apparel and accessories, a lawn and garden center, health and beauty aids, and an expanded electronics department

  • Convenience services include a pharmacy, digital photo processing center and Walmart Connect Center

  • Leased areas and services include a SmartStyle Family Hair Salon, a nail salon, a Subway restaurant and a branch of Denali Alaskan Federal Credit Union

Charitable giving

  • $15,000 in grants from the Walmart Foundation to the following area organizations

o Friendship Mission Inc.

o Kenai Community Library

o Kenai Peninsula Food Bank

o Kenai Watershed

o LeeShore Center

Employment

  • Store plans to employ approximately 300 associates

  • The average wage at Walmart for full-time hourly associates in Alaska is approximately $12.93 per hour*

  • Walmart benefits – available to eligible full- and part-time associates – include health insurance with no lifetime maximum. Walmart also offers a 401(k) plan and profit sharing contributions, whether an associate contributes or not, store discount cards, company performance-based bonuses, stock purchase program and life insurance

* Average wage taken February 2010. See www.walmartstores.com for details.

For more information

Walmart information online: www.walmartstores.com; merchandise sales: www.walmart.com

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