JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A celebration took place on Friday at Walmart in Region 8.
Employees gathered together with customers for a reopening event.
Store Manager for Walmart on Parker Road, Vanessa McMillon, said they wanted to celebrate the completion of their store remodel and introduce customers to new things they have to offer.
"This morning we're having a grand reopening," McMillon said. "We've come in here and pretty much made a face lift to the store. It's been twenty plus years since we've had anything done to this store. So, we came in here for the customer. Gave it a face lift from the floors to the signing to the overall flow of the store."
McMillon said things look really different.
"Big things have changed," McMillon said. "Number one, I would say is Pick Up Today. We have the ease of shopping on Walmart dot com. It's so fast and quick. The variety of items are expanding tremendously. We have a new pick up station that's on the grocery entrance. The customer can go over there and lounge and sit in comfort. And we will bring up their order to them once they check in. They no longer have to go to the back to the store. They're able to come up here and quickly get their item for us to bring it to them."
McMillon said there are also additional registers.
"Another change is our self-check out," McMillon said. "We had some on one entrance, but we've added additional ones. Self-check out is one of those easy, convenient things. If you're a customer you want to come in and out real quick. Just grab a couple of items and you're not having to wait in line if you check yourself out. Just the convenience and the quickness of getting out really fast. So, the more self-check outs we have, the customers are being able to flow through them."
McMillon said they added the registers because they noticed a need for more with customers.
"They're very popular," McMillon said. "And what we saw was the amount that we had wasn't enough. And so, adding it on another entrance, whether you come on the grocery side or the gm side, you'll be able to have the access to self-check outs. And then you'll be able to go out the same entrance you came in."
McMillon said they also tried to combine items and areas for convenience.
"Photo lab used to be at the front of the building," McMillon said. "We've moved it to the back corner by automotive and we've joined electronics and the photo lab together. So, as a customer shopping electronics you have photo lab close or vice versa. So, what we tried to do through the remodel is restructure some of the departments so as a customer you can come in and shop and go to an area of the store you would see in other Walmarts. We had other areas, such as candy. Usually candy is found in grocery. We didn't have it in grocery. Baby food is usually over by the diapers and infants. So, we tried to join those departments back together. So, that when a customer comes in they can navigate through the store easier and it's not as different of a lay out."
McMillon said the new remodel should save customers a lot of time while shopping.
"The flow is so much better," McMillon said. "We may not have the produce in the exact same start as another store, but it's in the front and in the corner. When you look at cosmetics, it's over by the shampoo. So, you can buy your make up with the shampoo. You can shop electronics and have photo lab right there. So, you're coming into the store and you're going to be able to go to an area a lot easier and find what you need. Versus it's in a different area in a different store."
McMillon said she appreciated how understanding customers were during the remodeling process.
"Everybody's really excited," McMillon said. "It's been challenging. Obviously, trying to do day to day business while you're tearing up areas and trying to fix it. And I know the customer had challenges and we apologize for all that. But we really appreciate the customers because they were so friendly and nice and understanding through all the changes. And I'm glad they bared through it with us. Now, we're good and can move forward. It's one thing we really appreciate. Is how positive the customers were about it, through it all. They could see that this was going to be really good for the store."
They also used the celebration to give back to the community!
Something Assistant Store Manager of Walmart, Ashley Taylor, said they've been doing for some time.
"Walmart gives to the community and also to the associates," Taylor said. "Starting with inside the building, we have critical funding. Where management puts into this fund and somebody who's in need, whether it's for a house fire or something with your family, they are able to give and get from that donation. So, that helps associates. In the communities, we give out grants. You can fill out a form and by the end of the year we have anywhere from health organizations to schools coming in and asking for one. We always like to help the children. They are our future. And people who are trying to build for other businesses. Because Walmart's a big business, why not give back?"
Taylor said they like to support the community they live and work in.
"We're big on giving locally," Taylor said. "We have so many Walmarts over the United States, outside the United States. And sometimes you just want to give back. We're here in Jonesboro so we want to give back to Jonesboro. And we always welcome people to come into Walmart. Any help that we can be that's what we try to do."
Recipients were National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Valley View High School, National Turkey Wildlife Association Crowley's Ridge and National Wildlife Turkey Federation Scatter Creek Fighting Toms.
Globally, Walmart donated 1.4 million dollars to charitable organizations and people in need last year.
Taylor said it's rewarding to help others.
"It's very exciting," Taylor said. "I feel like if you give you get back. Just to know that we're helping somebody. It could be helping feed kids. It could be adults getting fans for the summer. Any way we can give back."
Taylor said anyone is welcome to apply.
"Anybody that's needing assistance, feel free to come in," Taylor said. "Apply for an application process. Get with management. We're always here to help."
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