RED SPRINGS — The store manager of the town’s new Walmart Express says she has been turning potential customers away as her team of 34 employees works to ready the store for its opening Wednesday.
“The community’s coming out, they see the cars in the parking lot so I guess they think we’re open,” Linda Thomas told the Red Springs Board of Commissioners at its February meeting. “Everybody’s really curious, and I’m hoping we’ll do well.”
A ribbon-cutting ceremony is set for 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday.
“We are currently a week ahead of schedule, as far as preparations for our grand opening,” Thomas said. “The store planners that I have working with me, they have worked in all countries and they are an awesome group.”
The store has employed 10 from the Red Springs area and another 10 from Pembroke, Thomas said.
The 11,000-square-foot Walmart Express, located at 908 E. Fourth Ave., will feature a pharmacy, groceries and general merchandise, including fresh produce, dairy and meats, and health and beauty products.
Thomas started her career 13 years ago at a store in Rockingham and was assistant manager of the Walmart in Laurinburg.
The grand opening celebration includes $3,000 in grants from Walmart and the Walmart Foundation to the Red Springs Fire Department, Red Springs High School, Red Springs Police Department, Red Springs Rotary Club, St. Joseph Miracle Revival Center and Trinity United Methodist Church.
Thomas said the grants were just the first round, and she will have six more grants available once the store opens.
“Walmart is very involved in the community, as far as grants,” she said. “… I have a budget every year and they have given me double my budget this year and I will be awarding some grants to the community.”
An organization applying for a grant must be registered as a non-profit. To apply, visit foundation.walmart.com/apply-for-grants.
Mayor John McNeill told Thomas to let the town know if she “hits any snags.”
“A lot of towns will give you a list of things you can’t do,” he said. “We will sit down and work with you on how to do what you need to do to do business.”
Abbi Overfelt works for Civitas Media as the editor of The Red Springs Citizen and The St. Pauls Review.