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Walmart makes a grand entrance

Grand opening is 8 a.m. June 13

Store Manager Kimberly Smith will welcome shoppers during Wednesday's grand opening. (Cindy Yingst)
By Cindy Yingst, Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Dozens of blue-vested workers scurry about the nearly open Walmart, shelving and pricing items.

Contractors in yellow safety vests hang the final electrical cables and activate the last security cameras.

Two gentlemen greeters man the entryway, ensuring employees, construction workers and visitors get to their destinations.

Store Manager Kimberly Smith works on plans for the store’s grand opening, a gala celebration with a Coast Guard presentation, food trucks, Sunday Market vendors and other parking lot activities, an event she plans to extend through the weekend.

“We’re going to have a good time with the community,” Smith says.

It’s her third stint as a Walmart store manager, her second building a store from the ground up. While she comes to Warrenton from Washington state, 98 percent of the store’s 300 employees are local.

“And I’ve already promoted 10 percent of them after we got into the store,” she says. With so many employees, hiring will be an ongoing task.

The 150,000-square-foot Walmart Supercenter has a bakery, deli and grocery section, plus an order-online and stay-in-your-car grocery pick-up area.

All the other departments one would expect in a Walmart are here, too: shoes, clothes, toys, baby products, jewelry, appliances, garden center, sporting goods. The entertainment department is set up in open-stock display, whereby shoppers can touch and try out laptops, phones, TVs and other products. The vibrantly painted pharmacy has privacy partitions built into the counter and a separate immunization room.

An in-store pick-up area is right inside the entrance, where products ordered online or via phone wait in large lockers.

Who would use this service?

“Working full time, I could order what I needed on my lunch break and have it ready when I got off work,” Smith explains. “Sometimes that after-work shopping trip can turn into an hour and a half, so let us shop for you.”

There’s a Subway restaurant inside and room for a second vendor.

Many products carried in the new store were ordered especially for Warrenton and Clatsop County.

There are “Where the heck is Warrenton” and “Where the heck is Seaside” hoodies, rods made for catching salmon, crab traps, an “ultimate cargo cart” for hauling items to the beach.

“I’m excited beyond words,” Smith says of the impending opening. “I can’t wait to give the community what they’ve been waiting for: great items at a low price.”

Some cables are installed during some of the last-minute work in the pick-up area at the front of the store. (Cindy Yingst)

Colorful hoodies emblazoned with "Where the Heck is Warrenton" and "Where the Heck is Seaside" are among the local specialty products. (Cindy Yingst)

Patriotic T-shirts and summer wear stand ready for purchase. (Cindy Yingst)

Angelica Wright and Brandon Emmons get items ready for sale in the office supplies section. (Cindy Yingst)

Warrenton's Walmart opens June 13. (Cindy Yingst)

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