Wal-Mart’s new face lift is unveiled
Eight-week remodeling project aim was to enhance customer experience
Following completion of a major remodeling/renovation project, Centre Wal-Mart recently hosted a re-grand opening ceremony to extend appreciation to its local customer base and also to 350 associates for a job well done.
Dwayne Wood, store manager, Centre Wal-Mart, said the purpose of the renovation was to enhance the customer shopping experience.
“Every aisle in the store, except for frozen foods, was moved at least three feet or more.” Said Wood. “Nine hundred gallons of paint were added inside and outside the store. There was 110,000 square feet of tile (or 57 pallets) of tile that we went through and probably, 2,000 gallons of wax on the floors.”
Jane Baswell, a Wal-Mart associate, sang the National Anthem. The Rev. Jim Wright, pastor of Centre First Baptist Church, followed with an invocation to open the ceremony.
According to Wood, the eight-week project was an effort of 300 regular Wal-Mart associations and a third party crew of some 50 associates who were brought in to assist.
“I personally want to thank all the associates myself as well,” said Wood. “Over the eight weeks, we have gone through changes in the store. We’ve dealt with adversity through those changes. We have had some bumps, we have had some ups, we have had some downs, but we have managed very well and we have gotten through all the changes. The focus on the customer was the number one goal from the start. I am glad to report we had no safety, remodeling related accidents in the store. So great job everybody.”
Wood noted, “With the focus on the customers throughout the eight weeks, we actually ran a 3.7 percent sales increase during the entire project which is very unheard of in the Wal-Mart world. We appreciate you guys again for the sales increase. Good job!”
Wood introduced Centre Mayor Tony Wilkie who shared a few words.
“It is good to be here,” said Wilkie. “I go back to when the idea of bring WalMart to Centre was discussed. I was not an elected official, but living in Centre, when something of that nature gets out, there is excitement. People said, ‘Hey, we don’t have to go to Rome, Ga., we don’t have to go to Gadsden, Ala., this is something that happened right here in our home town.’”
“It became a reality and I can say this as being the mayor,” said Wilkie. “We need Wal-Mart, not only because of the revenue it brings, but because it employs people and we want you to be able to live and survive right here in our city, right here in our county. We see that we need the revenue and you are providing that for us. Some of the council members that are here that have been on the council for so long that before Wal-Mart was here it was a struggle. It is still a struggle now a days but with your help, it makes our job a little bit easier and provide those services that we need to provide to our residents of the city.”
“With all of that being said, thank you for what you do,” said Wilkie. “I am very proud of what the store has accomplished, the achievement here and our working relationship with Wal-Mart through and across America, especially locally. For you associates, thank you for what you do. Thank you for what you do for us here in the city, Keep up the good work. God Bless you.”
“Our people make the difference,” said Wood. “Our name badges, for the past 10 to 15 years have always had ‘Our People Make the Difference.’ This is the eighth store I have been in and the people here, associates here are the best associates I have ever worked with.”
For Centre Wal-Mart Associates, Wood said, there’s more to it than collecting a paycheck. On behalf of the store, he recognized several employees with the Dedication to Hard Work and Determination Award including Lauranne Bussey, Jesse Flores, Shirley Stout, Dan Davis, Brad Terry, Ryan Paradis, Patricia Giddings and Shelia Colvin.
“In the last couple of months, with everything we have done for Relay For Life, it looks we are going to be able to present a check for $10,000 this year,” said Wood. “I have had two or three customers talk to me in the store. They told me they came here (from other places) just to order a cake because they know it is fresh and they know it is going to be decorated well. We appreciate all the ladies over there in the bakery.”
“Another customer called,” said Wood. “They were out of town, all the way from Tennessee. They ran into an associate who knows how to change a tire and put a tire on. So after hours, we opened up the shop, got the customer a tire and got the customer got back on the road.”
“We had two associates who lost their homes in the recent storms,” said Wood. “So we had a group of associates step up. The kids had lost toys, so out of their pockets, out of their kindness, out of their hearts, they purchased game systems for them to get their minds off everything.”
During the past winter’s snowstorms, Wood commented, “Every member of management in the building actually stayed overnight in the Days Inn so we could stay over if anybody needed anything. We appreciate our management team for that.”
“Most recently, with the power outages, we ran on safety backup lights for six hours and then those started dying,” said Wood. “We had a member of management in the building who came in the next morning and all the freight was gone! They got care batteries, put spotlights on the aisles, so we actually stocked groceries at night. We appreciate overnight management and associates for that.”
On a daily basis, Wood said, customers tell how they drive other areas to shop at the Centre Wal-Mart Store.
“They say they drive here because our associates treat them like they are family,” said Wood. “They help them any way they can. That is good for the store, good for the city, I appreciate the family attitude we have here. That means a lot to me and the customers in the area.”
“In closing, we want to thank the associates for all their hard work and dedication over the last eight or nine weeks,” said Wood. “It was a total team effort. I am proud of each and every one of you guys, working extended hours, the things you did during the storms. I also want to thank the city and community for being patient with us.”
A ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony was held recently for the newly-remodeled Centre Wal-Mart. On hand for the ceremony, pictured, from left, were Centre Wal-Mart Associates Gail Webb, Carey Chesnut, John Harbour, Eddie Smith, Store Manager Dwayne Wood, Wal-Mart Associates Silvia Bryant and Charles Mauney, Centre Mayor Tony Wilkie cutting the ribbon, WalMart Associates Shirley Mauney, Jane Mattingly, David Chapman, Pam Garmany, April McGatha and Cherokee County Executive Director of the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce Thereasa Hulgan.
THE NATIONAL ANTHEM.
(above) Wal-Mart Associate Jane Baswell sings The National Anthem to open the recent ribbon cutting ceremony for the newlyremodeled Centre WalMart Store. ASSOC IATE RECOGNITION. ( right) Dwayne Wood, manager, Centre Wal-Mart Store, recognizes Lauranne Bussey, left, with a Dedication to Hard Work And Determination Award along with several other Wal-Mart associates during the recent ribbon cutting ceremony to open the newly-remodeled store.