First Wal-Mart Supercenter Opens in City of Atlanta with Unique Design and Select Merchandise

 Three new Wal-Mart Supercenters open bringing 1,200 jobs and
 $134,000 to local charities in the Atlanta area


ATLANTA, Oct. 16, 2006 – For the first time, consumers will be able to stay within the city of Atlanta to take advantage of one-stop shopping convenience and every day low prices with the opening of the city’s first Wal-Mart Supercenter on Wednesday, Oct. 18, at the District at Howell Mill.  In addition, customers in surrounding metro Atlanta counties can take advantage of two other Supercenters opening the same day in Buford and Stockbridge. Together, the three stores will have a powerful effect on the Atlanta area: bringing more than 1,200 jobs; supplying additional tax revenues; and supporting local organizations with more than $134,000 in grants in the first week alone. 

Stores Feature New Designs and “Neighborhood” Merchandise Mix
The three new stores have the latest in-store designs and features currently being introduced by Wal-Mart this year, including wider aisles, new home trends displays, new in-store signage and concrete and hardwood laminate floors throughout. In addition, customers will find new merchandise in the expanded electronics department showcasing the latest in computers, iPods and hi-definition televisions, and new brands in apparel. 

In anticipation of the upcoming holiday season, the new stores will also open with Wal-Mart’s “Toyland,” featuring the season’s hottest toys at the coolest prices. Customers will be able to fill any child’s wish list with everything from classic favorites such as Baby Alive, to digital and electronic toys, board games and plush characters that come to life.  Each new store offers a full grocery department that includes an expanded selection of organic food items, bakery, delicatessen, frozen foods and meat, dairy and fresh produce.  The added convenience of a Supercenter also allows customers to take advantage of other services while shopping, such as the one-hour photo lab, pharmacy, vision center, and Wal-Mart Connect Center for wireless phone sales.

Details for City of Atlanta Supercenter
Address: 1801 Howell Mill Road N.W., Atlanta – First in the City of Atlanta (please see Fact Sheet)
As the first Wal-Mart in the city limits, the new 150,000-square-foot Supercenter is located in the lower level of the former Castlegate Hotel.   The store represents another “urban design setting” for Wal-Mart as it continues to work with communities in different footprints to offer the Wal-Mart one-stop shopping experience.  The store is off the street level, with the building housing a three-level parking deck nearby. 

Wanting to make a positive impression with its first store in the city, Wal-Mart enlisted feedback and support from local community groups to ensure this store would meet the needs of the neighborhood.  The results included recommendations for store design, layout and merchandise mix.  For example, the color and design elements of the façade and exterior were created to blend in with local architecture.  These earth tones and terra cotta were also incorporated in areas throughout the store’s interior.  The store features a one-of-a-kind bakery and deli with an island of prepared foods for easy “on the go” dinners. Wal-Mart also tailored the merchandise mix for the store toward its anticipated shoppers, incorporating apparel lines such as Metro 7 and Exsto, while featuring an expanded wine selection and a specialty cheese area.  The store will be open from 6 a.m. until midnight daily. It will also house a Subway restaurant, and will have 26 full service, eight express and four self check-out lanes.

Buford Supercenter
Address: 3250 Sardis Church Road
The new store in Buford is a 202,000-square-foot Supercenter featuring 24 full-service and six express check-out lanes. It will be open 24-hours a day, seven days a week. The store’s exterior was designed to accent the community in red brick, while the lawn and garden center is accented by brick columns.  As with other new stores, it carries the new blue (merchandise) and green (grocery) signage throughout the interior to guide shoppers along the aisles. Other store features include a Tire & Lube Express, a Da-Vi nail salon, a SmartStyle hair salon, a Subway restaurant, a family fun center and a Murphy Oil gas station, which will open in the future. The store will also feature a Wal-Mart Money Center where customers can pay bills and purchase money orders and moneygrams.

Stockbridge Supercenter
Address: 1400 Hudson Bridge Road, Stockbridge
The new 204,000-square-foot Supercenter in Stockbridge will have 23 full-service, four express and four self check-out lanes and will be open 24-hours a day, seven days a week. The store will feature a Tire & Lube Express, a Regal Nails salon, a SmartSyle hair salon, a Blimpie restaurant, a lawn and garden center and a family fun center. It will also have a branch of Best Bank and a Murphy Oil gas station.

Three New Store Brings 1,200 jobs and Career Opportunities
Store Managers All Began as Hourly Associates
In total, the three Wal-Mart Supercenters will employ approximately 1,200 associates, and more than 8,200 applications have already been received for those jobs. The average wage at Wal-Mart for full-time hourly associates in the Atlanta area is approximately $10.33 per hour.*

Management for the Atlanta area stores was pleased but not surprised to have received so many applications.  “People in the community know there are many great career opportunities and benefits that come with working for a store and company like Wal-Mart,” said Atlanta Store Manager Chuck Rushing.  He and the other two new store managers should know – they began their Wal-Mart careers as hourly associates.  Rushing started in 1983 at a store in Winfield, Ala.; Buford Store Manager Suzanne Prather began her career in 1992 in Winder; and Stockbridge Store Manager Greg Hogwood started as an hourly associate in Fayetteville. 

Grand Opening Times and Events, Wednesday, Oct. 18
All three stores will open Wednesday, Oct 18, and customers at each will have the opportunity to meet Atlanta singer Diana DeGarmo, who will appear at each store. Additional grand opening activities include product samples, character appearances and other activities.

City of Atlanta:  The grand opening celebration begins at 9 a.m., with doors opening at 9:30 am.  Mayor Shirley Franklin has been invited to join the ceremonies and cut the ribbon with Wal-Mart homeoffice dignitaries.  The Georgia Tech Glee Club will join the celebration and sing the national anthem.   Later in the day, American Idol finalist and Georgia native Diana DeGarmo will sing and sign autographs from 3:30 p.m. until 6 p.m.  Ruben Studdard from American Idol will be at the store to sign autographs and meet customers the following day, Thursday, Oct. 19, at 4:30 p.m. 

Buford:  The grand opening ceremony begins at 7 a.m., with DeGarmo performing the national anthem. John Stewart, president of the Gwinnett County NAACP will lead the invocation, and members of the Gwinnett County Fire Department will present the colors. Other entertainment at the ceremony includes the Buford City Community Chorus and the Mill Creek High School Band.  Store associates will sell hot dogs and Coca-Cola products to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network, which has received more than $300 million dollars from similar store activities over the last two decades.

Stockbridge:  Grand opening ceremony begins at 7:30 a.m. Store associate Samantha Long will perform the national anthem, and the Rev. Ralph Wade of Jodeco Baptist Church will lead the invocation. The Dutchtown Junior Air Force ROTC unit will present the colors, and Stockbridge Mayor R.G. Kelley will cut the ribbon to the new store. DeGarmo will sing and sign autographs from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. The Dutchtown High School Symphonic Band will perform at 1:30.

Wal-Mart Stats Across Georgia
As of September 2006, Wal-Mart employed 53,308 associates and owned and operated the following facilities in Georgia:

  • Supercenters: 106
  • Discount Stores: 13
  • Sam’s Clubs: 21
  • Distribution Centers: 9

In the fiscal year ending 2006, Wal-Mart collected on behalf of the state of Georgia more than $450.8 million in sales taxes and paid more than $51.6 million in state and local taxes.

A Focus on Community – More than $134,000 in local donations
The Atlanta-area stores will donate a combined total of $134,000 to 39 local civic and charitable organizations. With the goal of giving back locally, the new Supercenters will also provide community grants throughout the year to neighborhood organizations.

Last year, Wal-Mart donated more than $270 million to charity – 90 percent of which came through local stores. Wal-Mart donated more than $8.5 million to charities in the state of Georgia last year alone, including gifts to the Atlanta Community Food Bank (Premier sponsor for the Hunger Walk, Push for Pencils campaign and Holiday Food Drive), Hands on Georgia, Hands on Atlanta, Hosea Feeds the Hungry, the Atlanta Workforce Development Next Step program and the Georgia Breast Cancer Coalition, and the Georgia and Atlanta chapters of the NAACP, to name a few.  Organizations can contact their local store for details. (EDITOR’S NOTE: A complete list of organizations receiving grand opening grants is listed on each store’s fact sheet at the end of the release.)

About Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Every week, more than 176 million customers visit Wal-Mart stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, Sam’s Clubs or a subsidiary location in 15 countries around the world. In each of the countries where Wal-Mart operates, the company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of operating globally and giving back locally. Wal-Mart is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $270 million to these local communities. To learn more, visit www.walmartfacts.com, www.walmart.com or www.walmartfoundation.org.

EDITOR’S NOTES

  • Atlanta store: Wal-Mart Store Manager Chuck Rushing can be contacted at 404-352-5252. 
  • Buford store: Wal-Mart Store Manager Suzanne Prather can be contacted at 678-546-6464. 
  • Stockbridge store: Wal-Mart Store Manager Greg Hogwood can be contacted at 770-474-0123.
  • Statements and quotes on behalf of Wal-Mart should not be obtained from or attributed to agency employees.

* Average wage taken yearly (December 2005).  See www.walmartfacts.com for more details. 

FACT SHEET
Atlanta Wal-Mart Supercenter


Store fast facts

  • Location: 1801 Howell Mill Road N.W., Atlanta
  • 150,000-square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenter
  • 9 a.m. grand opening ceremony, Wednesday, Oct. 18
  • Store manager: Chuck Rushing

Store features

  • Full line of groceries, bakery goods, deli foods, frozen foods, meat and dairy products and fresh produce, apparel and accessories, fine jewelry, health and beauty aids, full line of electronics, one-hour photo lab, pharmacy, vision center, beer and wine sales, Subway restaurant, unique bakery food island for prepared dinners, and a Wal-Mart Connect Center
  • Open from 6 a.m. until midnight, seven days a week
  • 26 full service, eight express and four self check-out lanes

Charitable giving 
$67,500 in charitable contributions to 12 area organizations

  • Antioch Baptist Church
  • Atlanta Workforce Development Board
  • Berkeley Park Homeowners’ Association
  • Bolton Academy Elementary School
  • City of Atlanta Fire Department
  • City of Atlanta Police Department
  • Create Your Dreams
  • Feed the Hungry Through Christ the King
  • Grady High School
  • North Atlanta High School
  • Safehouse Outreach
  • Trees Atlanta

Employment

  • More than 445 planned jobs; Store has received more than 4,700 applications.
  • The average wage at Wal-Mart for full-time hourly associates is the Atlanta area is approximately $10.33 per hour.* 
  • Wal-Mart benefits – available to full- and part-time associates – include healthcare insurance with no lifetime maximum.  Wal-Mart associates are eligible for health care benefits. Wal-Mart also offers a 401(k) plan and profit sharing contributions, whether an associate contributes or not, store discount cards, performance-based bonuses, discounted stock purchase program and life insurance.
  • Store Manager Chuck Rushing began his Wal-Mart career 23 years ago as an hourly associate at a store in Winfield, Ala.

* Average wage taken yearly (December 2005).  See www.walmartfacts.com for details. 

For more information

FACT SHEET
Buford Wal-Mart Supercenter


Store fast facts

  • Location: 3250 Sardis Church Road, Buford, Ga.
  • 202,000-square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenter
  • Store opening at 7:30 a.m., grand opening ceremony at 7 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 18
  • Store manager: Suzanne Prather

Store features

  • Full line of groceries, bakery goods, deli foods, frozen foods, meat and dairy products and fresh produce, expanded organic products, apparel and accessories, fine jewelry, expanded lawn and garden center, health and beauty aids, full line of electronics, one-hour photo lab, pharmacy, vision center, beer and wine sales, Wal-Mart Connect Center, Tire & Lube Express, Da-Vi nail salon, SmartStyle hair salon, Subway restaurant, family fun center, Wal-Mart Money Center
  • Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • 24 full service and six express check-out lanes

Charitable giving 
$33,250 in charitable contributions to 11 area organizations

  • Buford City School System
  • Buford Elementary School
  • Duncan Creek Elementary School
  • Exodus Outreach
  • Gwinnett Children’s Shelter
  • Gwinnett Fire Employee Benevolent Fund
  • Harmony Elementary School
  • Jackson County Senior Center
  • Mill Creek High School
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
  • People Actively Concerned for Others

Employment

  • Total planned employment of 370 associates; 1,500 applications.
  • The average wage at Wal-Mart for full-time hourly associates in the Atlanta area is approximately $10.33 per hour.* 
  • Wal-Mart benefits – available to full- and part-time associates – include healthcare insurance with no lifetime maximum.  Wal-Mart associates are eligible for health care benefits. Wal-Mart also offers a 401(k) plan and profit sharing contributions, whether an associate contributes or not, store discount cards, performance-based bonuses, discounted stock purchase program and life insurance.
  • Store Manager Suzanne Prather started as an hourly associate 14 years ago in Winder.

* Average wage taken yearly (December 2005).  See www.walmartfacts.com for details. 

For more information

FACT SHEET
Stockbridge Wal-Mart Supercenter


Store fast facts

  • Location: 1400 Hudson Bridge Road, Stockbridge, Ga.
  • 204,000-square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenter
  • Store opening 8 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 18; 7:30 a.m. grand opening ceremony
  • Store manager: Greg Hogwood

Store features

  • Full line of groceries, bakery goods, deli foods, frozen foods, meat and dairy products and fresh produce, apparel and accessories, fine jewelry, lawn and garden center, health and beauty aids, full line of electronics, one-hour photo lab, pharmacy, vision center, beer and wine sales, Wal-Mart Connect Center, Tire & Lube Express, Regal Nails salon, SmartSyle hair salon, Blimpie restaurant, family fun center, branch of Best Bank, Murphy Oil gas station
  • Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • 23 full-service, four express and four self check-out lanes

Charitable giving 
$33,250 in charitable contributions to 16 area organizations

  • American Cancer Society
  • Flint Circuit Council on Family Violence
  • Henry County Board of Education
  • Henry County Chamber of Commerce
  • Henry County Council on Aging
  • Henry County Council on Child Abuse
  • Henry County Fire Department # 8
  • Henry County Humane Society
  • Henry County Parks and Recreation Department
  • Henry County Police Department
  • Henry County Sheriff’s Department
  • Henry Medical Center Foundation
  • Jodeco Baptist Church
  • Rotary International Henry County
  • Special Olympics Georgia
  • Young Men’s Christian Association of Metropolitan Atlanta

Employment

  • Total planned employment of 425 associates; 2,000 applications.
  • The average wage at Wal-Mart for full-time hourly associates in the Atlanta area is approximately $10.33 per hour.*
  • Wal-Mart benefits – available to full- and part-time associates – include healthcare insurance with no lifetime maximum.  Wal-Mart associates are eligible for health care benefits. Wal-Mart also offers a 401(k) plan and profit sharing contributions, whether an associate contributes or not, store discount cards, performance-based bonuses, discounted stock purchase program and life insurance.
  • Store Manager Greg Hogwood began his Wal-Mart career as an hourly associate 17 years ago at a store in Fayetteville.

* Average wage taken yearly (December 2005).  See www.walmartfacts.com for details. 

For more information

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