Stonecrest Super Walmart opens for business on Oct. 2
Jennifer Ffrench-Parker | 9/27/2013, 6 a.m.
The new Stonecrest Super Walmart is pulling out all the stops for its grand opening celebrations that begins Oct. 2 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Store manager John Moreno said the Arabia Mountain High School Marching Rams, the Lithonia Middle School Chorus, and a color guard made of the four branches of the U.S. Armed Forces – Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard – along with interim CEO Lee May and other elected officials will participate in the ceremony that starts at 7:30 a.m. in front of the store’s main entrance.
The celebrations will continue for three weekends featuring live radio remotes, the Braves, the Hawks, a book signing by Terrence Jenkins, samples and giveaways from Walmart vendors, and Family Fun Days with an array of kids activities.
On Oct. 5, the store is hosting a Family Fun Day from noon to 3 p.m. to introduce Moreno and his management team to the community. Activities include face painting, cupcake decorating, and free food samples from Walmart vendors while supplies last.
During the grand opening celebration, Moreno will recognize 14 nonprofits and community groups that will be awarded $8,000 in grants from the store.
He also will acknowledge 11 former service men and women who were hired as part of Walmart’s “Coming Home Program.”
Shift manager Suzanne Prather, who relocated from the Tucker Walmart, said the former service members were honorably discharged within the past 12 months. They are among 300 full- and part-time managers and associates hired by the store.
Moreno said they received more than 3,000 applications for the positions.
The 148,000-square-foot store at 8424 Mall Parkway is located next door to sister company Sam’s Club. It is the second new store opened by Arkansas-based Walmart in South DeKalb this year.
The Stonecrest store joins the Super Walmart that opened June 12 at Memorial Drive and South Hairston Road in Stone Mountain and stores on Fairington Road in Lithonia, Columbia Drive in Decatur, Gresham Road in Atlanta, and on U.S. 78 in Stone Mountain.
A Neighborhood Market is under construction in the Covington Square Shopping Center at Covington Highway and Panola Road in Lithonia.
Moreno said he and his team are ready to serve the community. He said the store’s extensive grocery and produce selections, including organically grown produce, will be the closest grocer to Stonecrest area residents, who have been lobbying for a grocery store.
“We will have a full line of groceries, full produce, full bakery, and full meat and frozen and dairy items,” Moreno said.
The store features Walmart’s line of general merchandise, including apparel, electronics, toys, sporting goods, health and beauty aids, jewelry, automotive products, home furnishings, hardware, pet supplies, and lawn and garden items.
It also has a vision center, a digital-photo processing center, and a money center.
The “green” store uses skylights and energy-efficient LED lighting. Its aisles of motion-sensitive refrigerators stay dark until customers walk up.
In preparation for its Oct. 2 opening, employees were working feverishly round-the-clock this week to stock millions of items on the shelves. Moreno said produce, dairy and gardening items will be the last to arrive.
“We want them to be fresh,” he said.
The store at I-20 and Turner Hill Road in Lithonia will open to its first customers at 8 a.m., right after the ribbon-cutting ceremony. It will open daily from 6 a.m. to midnight.
Prather, a 21-year Walmart employee, said their team wants the new store to be the go-to place for the community.
“We want you to come and shop and bring the family,” she said. “We are giving back to the community. It’s all about saving money to live better.”
Fans of the My Local Walmart Facebook page at www.facebook.com/walmart4472 can receive information about rollbacks, in-store events, and meal solutions. For more information, visit www.walmart.com.