Wal-Mart grand opening is Wednesday

Posted 7/14/07

Fairhope residents will have a Wal-Mart Supercenter closer to home when the new Supercenter opens Wednesday at 8 a.m., following a 7:30 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“Fairhope has a wide variety of shops and boutiques that has made it a …

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Wal-Mart grand opening is Wednesday

Posted

Fairhope residents will have a Wal-Mart Supercenter closer to home when the new Supercenter opens Wednesday at 8 a.m., following a 7:30 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“Fairhope has a wide variety of shops and boutiques that has made it a shopping mecca for residents and visitors alike,” said Store Manager Kevin Smith. “We hope our customers take the opportunity to experience all that Fairhope has to offer and that our neighboring businesses benefit from the increased number of shoppers.”

The new store is located on a 58-acre site at 10040 Fairhope Ave., at the intersection of County Road 48 and Alabama 181. The store’s exterior was designed to resemble a row of village shops, and more than 500 trees are included in the landscaping, which features minimal signage.

“Wal-Mart has demonstrated its willingness to be a good neighbor by working with the city on the aesthetics of the new store, making certain that such things as the building design and colors, the landscaping, and the parking lot fit in with the overall look and feel of Fairhope,” said Mayor Tim Kant. “The utility income generated from the store will benefit all the residents of Fairhope in many different areas.”

Interior design elements will also be new for familiar Wal-Mart shoppers, including a wider look and feel, wood flooring in the store’s apparel departments and larger bathrooms. The store was built with an environmentally friendly design, with skylights, energy-efficient lighting and concrete flooring.

Smith said the new Supercenter will have a positive impact on the area’s economy, primarily by creating new jobs and offering products at low prices. Once open, the store plans to employ approximately 400 associates. More than 1,000 applications have been received for the positions, most of which will be full-time, according to Smith. The average wage in Alabama for full-time, regular employees at Wal-Mart is $10.31 per hour.

“We don’t just work here. We live here, too,” said Assistant Manager Chris Sparks, a Fairhope native. “Many of our associates live near the store and joined Wal-Mart because of its great career opportunities and fantastic benefits.”

Wal-Mart benefits, available to eligible full- and part-time associates, include healthcare insurance with no lifetime maximum. Wal-Mart also offers a 401(k) plan and profit-sharing contributions, store discount cards, performance-based bonuses, stock purchase program and life insurance.

“We have a lot of people in our area who are on a fixed income,” said Smith. “For some of these people, being able to do all their shopping at a Wal-Mart Supercenter right here in town will help them stretch their money a little further.”

(Submitted)