Wal-Mart opened today

I am a Target guy, myself, but Sanford doesn’t have a Target.
They do, however, have a brand-spanking new Wal-Mart SuperCenter, which opened today. I attended the grand opening and witnessed an enthusiastic crew excited about their new store. I also saw a crowd the lined up out the door waiting for the ribbon cutting so they could start spending money.
It was a great day for Sanford in that it was a shame a city our size didn’t already have something like this. Waiting this long, however, Sanford’s new Wal-Mart has amenities some of the WM’s in places like Cary, Fayetteville and other surrounding cities don’t have.
I walked around the new facility today after the ribbon cutting, and I will say their electronics department and grocery section is much improved over some of the older “new” Wal-Marts. I’m glad to see Sanford has more than one place now that sells iPods, and the DVD and CD sections were improved (I still don’t buy Wal-Mart CDs because of the censorship issue, however).
My biggest problem with Wal-Mart in the past has been customer service. I’ve been to several where the employees were untrained, unmotivated and unprofessional, and this gets to me. Aisles got dirty and there never seemed to be enough registers open when it came time to check out.
I wrote earlier that I saw a motivated staff today … but today is Day 1. I want to see the same motivation and professionalism in Year 3. I want to see that same shiny floor in six months, and I want the speedy checkout I got today when I bought a Coke.
We’ve made a big deal about Wal-Mart’s opening in our paper, and for good reason. But we also asked shoppers in today’s editorial to not forget the local businessmen and women.
As Sanford grows, more and more national chains will come to the area. But if we don’t give the local business a chance, Sanford will lose its identity and character. We’ll become a giant ‘burb.
So, to sum it all up … I’m glad the new Wal-Mart is here. I just hope for two things: 1) They improve on the shortcomings of their other stores and 2) They don’t let the old building rot.


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