Grocery-centric Walmart store opening in Marietta
by Sheri Kell
January 15, 2013 11:52 PM | 5861 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The first of three Walmart Neighborhood Market stores coming to Cobb County opens in Marietta today. The stores, which are focused on grocery items, are much smaller than a typical Walmart Supercenter. Store manager Wanda Shack stands in the freshly stocked produce section on Tuesday afternoon. <br>Staff/Todd Hull
The first of three Walmart Neighborhood Market stores coming to Cobb County opens in Marietta today. The stores, which are focused on grocery items, are much smaller than a typical Walmart Supercenter. Store manager Wanda Shack stands in the freshly stocked produce section on Tuesday afternoon.
Staff/Todd Hull
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MARIETTA — The first of three Walmart Neighborhood Market concept stores coming to Cobb County opens today at 1167 Powder Springs St. in Marietta near Bellemeade Drive, in the former Food Depot site.

According to store manager Wanda Shack, 90 new full- and part-time jobs, including four assistant manager positions, have been filled. The 41,000-square-foot store will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Shack said the store — which is one-fourth the size of a typical Walmart Supercenter — includes produce, meat, deli, frozen, and beer and wine departments, as well as a pharmacy, paper goods, pet products and a limited hardware department.

“With our smaller format, our store is perfect for those on the go,” Shack said.

Bill Wertz, divisional director east of community and media relations for Walmart, said last year that the company is responding to its customers’ needs.

“We are becoming a more flexible company with larger and smaller formats,” he said. “We also try to make each store reflect the preferences of the customers in the area.”

The new store includes a rice and bean walk-around area and a Hispanic doughnut case.

“We will be meeting the needs of this community, but we expect our demographic to be evenly split,” said Shack.

Shack said that due to the smaller format, the fresh department will need to be re-stocked more frequently than supercenter stores.

“Fresh produce and meat will be the key areas we give more focus to,” she said.

A ribbon-cutting is scheduled for 7:30 a.m., with the doors then opening to the public. Pastor Don Ezell of Turner Chapel AME will le0ad the invocation, and members of the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce will cut the ribbon.

According to Shack, there will be product giveaways, character appearances and sampling on grand-opening day, and continuing through the weekend.

As a part of the grand-opening celebration, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are giving several community grants to Turner Chapel, Mission Church of God, Cobb County Fire and Emergency Services, and YMCA of Marietta. The company says that additional funds will be available throughout the year for local organizations that serve the community.

Brooks Mathis, executive director vice president of Economic Development at the Cobb Chamber, said, “A wonderful sign of the economy is the growth in retail operations in our community. With the recruitment of new corporations to Cobb come new jobs, which provide more financial resources for our citizens to spend on goods and services.”

Construction is expected to be complete mid-summer at the second store, located at Blackwell Commons shopping center at the corner of Blackwell Road and Canton Road. Wertz says that in some locations, such as the space that was formerly occupied by America’s Thrift Store, they have to demolish and start over.

The third store will be located in east Cobb at the intersection of Roswell Road and Old Canton Road in the Old Mill Shopping Center. At 48,000 square feet, it will be the largest of the three. According to Wertz, the market is likely open late this year.

In all three locations, Walmart is leasing the space. Wertz said because of the abundance of buildings in the 40,000 square-foot size range, retrofits are often done for the neighborhood markets in lieu of new construction.

Wertz said, “Our customers are telling us they like the convenience and being able to get in out quickly at Walmart prices,” he said.

Walmart opened its first neighborhood market store in Georgia in June in Lawrenceville.
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