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Walmart Neighborhood Market Celebrates Grand Opening

The store. located on Highway 78, celebrated its grand opening today, Aug. 29, at 7:30 a.m.

The new Walmart Neighborhood Market on Highway 78 was packed this morning as residents and city officials gathered to celebrate the much anticipated grand opening. 

Mayor Kelly Kautz officially welcomed the store to the city, expressing excitement about the partnership with the city and appreciation for the donations the corporation has made to local charities. 

"I'm excited," said resident Judy Edge, who lives just a mile or two away. 

Edge looks forward to the convenience of the new store, as well as what she hopes it will do for Highway 78. That sentiment is echoed by council members of the city. Councilman Tom Witts, mayor pro tem, stated that he believed this was the right time and place for such an endeavor, and that he could imagine looking back ten years from now and see this day as what re-establishes the Highway 78 corridor as a desirable place for retail centers. 

"[This] adds 80 plus new jobs and replaces an old empty building with a new state of the art facility," said councilman Bobby Howard in a statement. "This is another big win for our city. We are very pleased to have been selected by Wal-Mart for this neighborhood grocery [and] pharmacy."

Night shift managers Alex Mays and Joyce Rogers are both looking forward to starting their new roles at the store. For Rogers, the move was a promotion, while Mays held the same role at the Stone Mountain Walmart.

"People are excited," said Rogers. "I love the small format, the atmosphere. It has a friendlier feel and it's convenient."

She said that there will be fresher produce and higher quality meats at this location that in the larger stores.  

Now that the new Walmart is open for business, have your thoughts toward the facility changed? Tell us in the comments. 

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Dave Emanuel August 30, 2012 at 04:31 PM
@j.miller- Although Snellville invests time and resources encouraging new businesses to locate within the city, and helping existing businesses to succeed and expand, each business owner decides what course of action to take. The cost of the property now occupied by the Neighborhood Market put it out of the range of most small businesses, and it is certainly not the place of city government to tell property owners who they should or shouldn't consider as purchasers. This property sat vacant for many years, and I'm sure the property owners would have considered any reasonable offer. The fact is, they didn't receive one until Walmart came along. Personally, I have found Walmart to be an excellent corporate citizen. The corporation has already donated $6,000 to local charities through this store, and has a long history of supporting a wide variety of local charities. And frankly, whether you, I or anyone else dislikes Walmart is irrelevant. The company is extremely successful because offers precisely what its customers want.
j miller August 31, 2012 at 01:31 PM
So...when WalMart decides that this site is no longer viable, and leaves for a location with better accessibility what does the city do with ANOTHER vacant structure abandoned by this excellent corporate citizen. WalMart has done this before, ( off highway 78 next to Regal theater). How about tax incentives to encourage local businesses to invest in building in Snellville? How about working with local banks to support small business start-ups in the city. There are multiple ways to encourage small businesses to establish in Snellville. The suggestion that the city of Snellville could or should dictate pricing to a property owner as the only solution to this discussion is another clue to the lack of creativity with the politicians making these decisions. Yes, Walmart provides jobs, so do small businesses. Yes, Walmart contributes to local charities, so do small businesses. Does WalMart contribute to a viable Snellville community, yes, until the corporate office decides that their store isn't making enough money, and shuts the doors. (Think Best Buy in Loganville). Local businesses make local business decisions. I would rather spend my dollars in a business with people I know.
Dave Emanuel August 31, 2012 at 09:58 PM
You've brought up a number of excellent points, but in your haste to condemn politicians for lack of creativity, you have overlooked the creative efforts that the city has launched. Eric Van Otteran, the city's director of economic development, has implemented a number of successful programs (one of which won an award from the Atlanta Regional Commission) to develop new entrepreneurs and assist existing ones. In addition to these programs, the city has also launched a business "toolbox" (snellvillebusinesstoolbox.com) to provide additional forms of assistance. You are correct that Walmart closed one location and opened another, which is the same thing a small business would do if it doubled the size of its operation. I don't think you can condemn a large corporation for the same business approach for which you would praise a small privately owned company. Regardless of size, all businesses have to earn a profit. If they don't, they cease to exist. Consumers are best served by a vibrant combination of large and small businesses, and I think you'll find that Snellville offers an excellent choice of both types.
j miller August 31, 2012 at 10:42 PM
First, the positive, the snellvillebusinesstoolbox.com, looks like a nice resource. Very user friendly, and functional. I will differ with you on the difference between Walmart leaving a location, and small business doing the same. Walmart can afford to "walkaway" from a property, whereas a small business would sell the location and use the revenue to support its business efforts. How many years did the "old" walmart stand vacant?. (that really is a question) I don't know the answer, but I'm sure it was several years. One more point, the beauty of a small, locally owned business is the character and ambiance of the proprietor. What is "Walmart jr. bringing to Snellville that the big box doesn't already provide. Are they supplying locally grown produce? I would venture the only real question is; whether the produce sold from "jr" walmart comes from the back or the front of the same truck that supplies the produce to the big store on Highway 124.
Kayla Tyler September 06, 2012 at 07:34 PM
I finally had a chance to stop by the new Wal-Mart store. While I liked the size and location of the store, I did miss the store having a bakery and deli. That made the store feel more like an Aldi to me. I knew that it would not have everything that the bigger Wal-Mart stores have, like clothes, electronics, etc.; but this aspect I did not mind. I enjoy Wal-Mart prices, but do not always feel like dealing with the crowds, and looked forward to a smaller concept store. I did miss grabbing a quick meal from the deli, though they have a selection of pre sliced deli meats and packaged breads.

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