Walmart Adds Grocery Savings to Bakersfield

Relocated Walmart provides 400 new jobs, $28,000 in local grants

BAKERSFIELD, Calif., Oct. 21, 2009 – A new Walmart opens this month in Bakersfield, bringing approximately 400 planned new jobs, savings on a full line of groceries and an increase in tax revenue to support the area’s economy. Nonprofit organizations will also benefit from the retailer’s ongoing charitable contributions and support for community projects. The Walmart, located at 6225 Colony St., will be open to customers at 8 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 28.

Store Designed to Improve Customer Experience
In recent months, Walmart has taken major steps to refresh its stores, merchandising and customer experience. The improvements have all come together in the company’s newest stores, such as the Bakersfield Walmart.

The new Walmart features wide aisles, enhanced service and a layout designed to make the shopping experience more convenient for customers. Walmart aligned the departments that customers shop most frequently. The pharmacy, for example, is adjacent to food making it easier for customers to pick up their prescriptions while shopping for their groceries.

“The layout of the store is easy to navigate, which will save our customers time as they shop for everyday necessities,” said Store Manager Harry Fenske. “By grouping the products that our customers most often purchase including health and beauty and pet supplies, we are making one-stop shopping even easier.”

A bright interior color palette creates an inviting shopping experience and helps define the store’s merchandise areas. Lower shelving creates an improved sightline and directional signage on every aisle helps customers find what they are looking for quickly. Walmart also combined the customer service desk, site to store pick-up location and photo lab in one area near the entrance. Customers now have easy access to these services, as well as associates on hand to help meet their needs.

Approximately 400 new positions were created as a result of the relocation. More than 90 of the store’s associates have worked for Walmart for more than 10 years, including 10 associates who have worked at the store since its original opening in 1991.

Community Organizations Benefit from Grand-Opening Grants
As part of Walmart’s commitment to the communities in which it operates, $28,000 in grants from the Walmart Foundation will be presented during the grand-opening celebration. The following organizations will each receive grants to support programs that serve the community: Bakersfield Christmas Parade, Bakersfield Firefighters’ Burn Foundation, Bakersfield Memorial Hospital, Bakersfield Police Activities League, Community Action Partners of Kern, Golden Empire Gleaners, Greenfield Union School District, Kern County Sheriff’s Mounted Search and Rescue and Kiwanis Foundation of South Bakersfield.

Store Design Incorporates Environmentally Friendly Features
The Bakersfield Walmart, like all new Walmart stores, includes energy-efficient technology and environmentally friendly features to reduce energy and water consumption and minimize waste. The store’s skylights harvest daylight and reduce the amount of energy required to light the store by up to 75 percent daily. LED lighting in the store operates 70 percent more efficiently than traditional fluorescent lighting.

The cement used in the concrete flooring is made with recycled materials, and the floor’s finish reduces the need for chemical cleaners. Low-flow toilets and faucets reduce the water used in the bathrooms. The new store also operates a recycling program and will promote sustainable product purchases.

Ribbon-Cutting Celebration 7:30 a.m., Oct. 28
Community and business leaders will join Walmart associates at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday for a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony. Whitney Wattenberger will perform the national anthem, and store associate Merlen Statler will lead the invocation.

About Walmart
Every week, millions of customers visit Walmart stores, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Club locations across America or log on to its online store at www.walmart.com. The company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally. Walmart (NYSE: WMT) is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $378 million to local communities in the United States.

EDITOR’S NOTES

  • An invitation-only open house for grant recipients and other VIPs is scheduled at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 27. It will include preview tours and check presentations to representatives of community organizations. Reporters and photographers are welcome.
  • Store Manager Harry Fenske is available for interviews and to arrange photo opportunities or tours. He can be reached at 661-831-0286.

FACT SHEET
Bakersfield Walmart

Store facts

  • Location: 6225 Colony St., Bakersfield, Calif.
  • Formerly located at 2300 White lane
  • 218,145-square-foot Walmart
  • Store opens at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28, following a 7:30 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony
  • Store manager: Harry Fenske
  • Open 6 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week

Store features

  • Full line of groceries including a bakery, a deli serving fresh food and meal solutions for moms, meat and dairy products, fresh produce and a liquor department
  • More than 30 merchandise departments such as apparel and accessories, a drive-through lawn and garden center, health and beauty aids, and an expanded electronics department
  • Convenience services include a pharmacy, digital photo processing center, Da-Vi nail salon, SmartStyles Family Hair Salon, McDonald’s restaurant and branch of Tri Counties Bank

Charitable giving

  • $28,000 in grants from the Walmart Foundation to the following area organizations:
    • Bakersfield Christmas Parade
    • Bakersfield Firefighters’ Burn Foundation
    • Bakersfield Memorial Hospital
    • Bakersfield Police Activities League
    • Community Action Partners of Kern
    • Golden Empire Gleaners
    • Greenfield Union School District
    • Kern County Sheriff’s Mounted Search and Rescue
    • Kiwanis Foundation of South Bakersfield

Employment

  • Store plans to employ approximately 800 associates, including 400 new positions created by the relocation
  • The average wage at Walmart for full-time hourly associates in California is approximately $11.90 per hour*
  • Store Manager Harry Fenske began his Walmart career as an hourly associate in 1988 at a store in Warrensburg, Mo.
  • Walmart benefits – available to eligible full- and part-time associates – include health insurance with no lifetime maximum. Walmart also offers a 401(k) plan and profit sharing contributions, whether an associate contributes or not, store discount cards, company performance-based bonuses, stock purchase program and life insurance

* Average wage taken September 2009. See www.walmartstores.com for details.


For more information

  • Store manager: Harry Fenske, 661-831-0286.
  • Walmart information online: www.walmartstores.com; merchandise sales: www.walmart.com