Monday, August 31, 2009

Wal-Mart Supercenter To Open Soon

A little non-CBD news for those of you who think we're too downtown-centric on the blog.

Wal-Mart is set to open its Supercenter in Red Bank Village (on Red Bank Road in Fairfax) on October 28. According to news reports at the time Wal-mart announced the new store, it should have about 200,000 square feet of retail space. At about the same time, the company will close its "general merchandise" store on Highland near Ridge.

For those of you wondering about the employment impact of the new store: the employees and management of the Highland store will transfer to the new supercenter. Wal-Mart will also hire additional associates, though I've not heard how many or when applications will be accepted. My own experience with Wal-Mart (now almost a decade in the past) is that about 50 new associates will be needed, and hiring will be about 30-45 days prior to grand opening. If the company still operates as it did in the past, associates in surrounding stores will be given the opportunity to transfer to the new store (and some from nearby supercenters may be assigned there temporarily to help with grand opening). So in addition to the possibility of positions available in the Red Bank Village store, there may also be a few jobs open at nearby Wal-marts, too.

Yes, folks, I do shop at Wal-mart. Not often, and only for certain things (four-dollar prescriptions come to mind), but I do shop there. And I'm not apologizing.

For what it's worth, I'll give a shout-out to the Highland Avenue store. Five or six years ago, you couldn't have paid me to walk into that store and shop. It usually felt dirty and its in-stock position was terrible (in other words, there were often a lot of items that were out-of-stock on any given day). The last couple years, though, the store has really turned around (at least in my opinion). The store is usually clean and I don't have trouble finding what I'm looking for; the associates all generally seem to be in better spirits than in the past. My guess is the store has benefitted from a new management team. Wait times at the check-outs during peak hours remain a problem, but that seems to be a chain-wide problem the company is willing to live with(I'm not sure the company even pays lip service to the notion of "speedy checkout" anymore.)

So look for the new store, and a few new employment opportunities in the next couple months.

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