Just after 8:00 Wednesday morning, Levelland's Wal-mart Supercenter opened its doors to expectant shoppers. Shopper, Angelica Estrada, says "We just came to see the good stuff they've got that they didn't have at the old store, so it'll be exciting a new change for Levelland." When we asked Ricky and Cindy Turner if they are excited about what the Supercenter means for Levelland, they said, "Yes, there will be a lot more people coming in, a lot more money running through the community. It makes it exciting."
That's exactly what Wal-Mart management is hoping for. Store Manager, Derek Priddy says the Supercenter is expected to draw shoppers from within a 40 mile radius. He says, "It pulls a lot of economic activity into this city. Also, a lot of company's look at where a Supercenter might be located to locate their business as well."
Logic leads one to believe, the Wal-Mart Supercenter might not be great news for United, the only other supermarket in town. NewsChannel 11 tried to get a statement from them but they refused to comment.
In the meantime, small business owners around town say they're not worried. Sherry Phillips, Manager of "The Scented Room" gift shop says, "I really don't think it's going to hurt a whole lot of people except United a little." Priddy says, "We'll be having special boards made for each entrance that will highlight some of our other business districts here in town and our downtown district which provides a unique shopping opportunity different from ours."
Wal-Mart's new Supercenter affords customers a one stop shopping experience. The business boasts a complete grocery line, a pharmacy and much more, but Wal-Mart also prides itself of being part of the community. At Wednesday's opening alone, they contributed over $13,000 to Levelland organizations.
Levelland's original Wal-Mart on Club View Drive is now closed. Employees from that location moved to the new location along with close to 300 new Wal-mart associates. Currently there are no plans for the old building.