It’s a fairly new concept to Walmart’s concept of being everything to everyone. But the new Walmart Neighborhood Market opening on 10th Street will still have plenty to offer.
“This store is here to service the community’s needs,” store manager Katie Mellen said. “We will take good care of our community with the local shopping experience we provide.”
The store at 5835 W.10th St. is set to open Sept. 18.
“We came into a vacant building, and now we hope to bring customers in, and hope to revitalize this area of town to drive business to all of the other vendors around us,” Mellen said.
This is Mellen’s first year as a store manage, although she’s worked for the company for nearly 12 years. Mellen started working at Walmart in 2001 by stocking dairy department coolers at a store in Muncie. By 2003, she was in the company’s management training program, and knew she wanted to one day manage her own store.
On Sept. 18 she’ll be riding in a race car to the grand opening. The ceremony will begin at 7:30 a.m. and will include a parade down 10th Street, antique fire engines, and a Walmart 18-wheeler.
Instead of the traditional ribbon cutting ceremony, they’ll be holding a “pushing of the shopping carts” through the ribbon.
“It’s something more visually stimulating rather than the traditional ribbon cutting,” Mellen said.
She added that there will be “tons of giveaways” and vendor participation.
“I think there will be quite a turnout of Walmart folks coming to see the new store,” she said. “We also invited local dignitaries such as the deputy mayor and a city councilwoman to address the crowd. It should be quite an event.”
The ceremony will be held outside, weather permitting, and Mellen hopes that will bring people to the store.
Between the grand opening and Sept. 17 for an invitation-only family night for Wal-Mart employees, the store will be giving away $8,000 for different charities around the community.
“We want to keep the contributions local,” she said. “There will be four large check presentations between the two events.”
Mellen said she hopes the banner they posted outside the store will generate some interest to customers to attend the grand opening.
“It would be a great way to meet the neighbors,” she said. “I hope residents come out to participate with us.”
The Walmart Neighborhood Market brought about 90 jobs to the area. The associates have been training and helping build the store since they first started.
The preparation of this store will have taken 4 ½ weeks from the first day of working with fixtures to the grand opening day.
“We are the store where residents can stop by and get their food after work,” Mellen said. “We have fresh local beef and produce, and you can get the convenience of shopping here at the Neighborhood Market but still at the everyday low prices like the Supercenter.”
The Arkansas-based retailer known for its supercenters has been unveiling the smaller, neighborhood market locations to grab a bigger piece of the grocery business. This is the third such store to open in the Indianapolis area, but more are planned. The markets are about a third of the size of a traditional Walmart store.
For more information on Walmart, visit the website at http://corporate.walmart.com, see it on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmartnewsroom.
Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com.