The Walmart From God
BERLIN — After a years-long approval and construction process, the new Super Walmart on Route 50 in Berlin opened early Wednesday morning amid much fanfare and ceremony.
The cavernous new 85,000-square-foot store dwarfs the company’s former facility on the site, which opened in 1999. The old store will eventually be torn down and the site will be paved over to create parking for the new facility, which officially opened around 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday and will be open 24 hours a day. In the meantime, shuttles are transporting customers from five stops around the old parking area.
The Super Walmart had been in the planning pipeline for several years before ground was broken on the new facility over a year ago. Store Manager Scott Ficca, who served as master of ceremonies for Wednesday’s ribbon cutting and official opening, said the new store was worth the wait.
“Our customers have waited a long time for this day to come,” he said. “It’s finally here.”
The new store creates a one-stop shopping opportunity for residents and visitors including traditional Walmart merchandise along with a vast grocery section, a pharmacy, auto repair, photo lab and just about everything else consumers need. The bright interior colors create an inviting shopping experience and helps define the store’s merchandise areas. Lower shelving creates improved sightlines and directional signage on every aisle helps customers easily find what they are looking for.
Store associate Tabitha Cartwright sang the national anthem at the start of Wednesday’s ceremony and another store associate, Cathy Shockley, delivered a stirring invocation, tying the recent passing of Easter to the store’s opening.
“The Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross for us, and now we have a Super Wal-Mart,” she said during Wednesday’s proceedings.
The new Super Walmart, like all new Walmart stores, includes energy-efficient technology and environmentally friendly features to reduce energy and water consumption and minimize waste. The store’s skylights utilize daylight to reduce the amount of energy required to light the facility by up to 75 percent. LED lighting in the store operates 70 percent more efficiently than traditional fluorescent lighting.