Walmart has expanded its original store in Poway, San Diego, California, this week, making it a ‘Supercenter’.
Mayor of Poway city, Don Higginson, along with local dignitaries, company employees and officials, assembled at the first Walmart that was built in San Diego County to celebrate the expanded store’s ribbon-cutting.
President and CEO of the Poway Chamber of Commerce, Dolores Canizales, exulted: "The chamber is thrilled at what the addition of this Walmart Supercenter will do to help support our community and keep it growing and thriving."
The new Poway Walmart store, located at 13425 Community Road, envelopes almost 180,000 ft2. The grocery department has been allotted 40,000 ft2 and comprises fresh produce, a deli, a bakery and a meat section. Massive renovation was done to both the exterior and the interior of the store.
According to company officials, the expansion was able to generate 85 new jobs, making it a 300-strong workforce consisting of part-time and full-time "associates".
The original Walmart, built in 1992, boasts yearly sales of around $500bn covering about 11,000 stores in 27 countries.
The expanded retail store is set to function 24/7 and 365 days.
The inaugural ceremony also included donations that were presented to local non-profit organisations, Leap to Success ($25,000) and Next Stage U ($2,500).
Announcing plans to expand in 2009, Walmart had even prepared a comprehensive environmental impact assessment at its own expense, which was subjected to various public meetings.
Though March 2013 saw the beginning of construction, it took several months for it to be completed due to some organised opposition protesting against its potential negative impacts on traffic and other local markets.
On December 11, on the trail of Walmart’s ‘supercenter’, Lowe’s home improvement store is also set for unveiling on Poway Road.