Walmart staff working toward Aug. 6 opening

Published 3:59 pm Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Citizens have noticed a large amount of activity at the site of Atmore’s new Walmart in recent days, but the store is still several weeks from its opening date of Wednesday, Aug. 6.

Store manager Joe Ferguson said that there are nearly 150 employees who have already begun their training at the Walmart store, and there are always employees on site at any time.

The store will be a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week business, and so the employees are already getting used to their work routines, he said.

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“We’ve been having fun with the training,” he said. “Some of our employees have been pretending to be customers, to help give our cashiers some practice with real people.

“They’ve been working hard all month.”

Ferguson said that employees first started moving into the building on June 30, and merchandise has been constantly arriving since then.

He said that the majority of the store’s freight has already been received, except for fresh produce and similar items. That merchandise won’t be shipped until just before the opening date.

“We’re still shelving the store, putting up our labels and signs and that sort of thing,” he said.

“Most of our major freight has already been shipped to the store. Right now, we’re just working on a few additional shipments and tying up a few loose ends.”

The new 70,000-square-foot retail store is in the heart of town, off North Main Street just south of Oak Hill Cemetery. Department of Transportation crews have been working for the past several months to widen the highway to add turning lanes for the new Walmart.

Ferguson said he has not heard an update from the DOT in a while, but he hopes the road construction will be completed by the time the store is ready to open.