Seligman Walmart moves closer to grand opening
October 1, 2014
Significant progress is being made on the upcoming Walmart to be located at the Highway 112 and Highway 37 intersection in Seligman.
So far, construction is on schedule and the tentative grand opening date is December 10, according to the newly hired store manager Tim Williams. The store is opening the internal hiring process to select five full-time supervisors and 25-30 part-time employees. The store has already hired their pharmacist Andrew Aumann.
Williams and his family are from Bentonville, Ark., where they’ve lived since 2002. Williams and his wife, Sheryl, have been married 31 years and have three children and two grandchildren. Williams is retired from the Army National Guard and the Army Reserves after serving three combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He started with Walmart in 2002. Williams said exciting news in his house recently is that his youngest son Mitchell will be playing football for the Airforce Academy after he graduates in the spring.
One big change since the story broke in August will be the name. Originally, Walmart Corporate had the store labelled as a Walmart Express, a relatively new addition to the Walmart chain. However, now they’ve decided to do away with Express. Williams stated, “While the store was originally going to be an Express, now Walmart has decided that it’ll be a Neighborhood Market. All that is changing is the branding.” Williams said that all of the other details will be the same with the location boasting a gas station, grocery, dry goods, pharmacy and others. Williams said, “This is more than just a grocery store, we will have a big line of items, including 17,000 grocery items.”
Even though the store will not offer a full line of items like a Supercenter, the store will offer Site to Store shipping, allowing customers to have anything available online shipped directly to the store for pick up.
Williams said that so far, the one thing he has heard most from community members is the excitement over the pharmacy. He stated, “Almost every person I’ve talked to is really excited about the pharmacy opening up, especially some of the elderly in the area. Some of them are having to drive all the way to Rogers to pick up their prescriptions and this will make their lives much easier to cut down that drive.”
The new job openings have also stimulated a lot of buzz. Williams said, “We’ve had a lot of interest in the employment aspect because so many people here commute. The jobs will mean that they don’t have to drive so far from home.”
Aside from the offerings of the store, Williams also hopes to have a positive atmosphere for customers. He said, “Customer service will be a big emphasis at the store. We expect our associates to be friendly and talk to our customers. That’s part of it here.”
He continued, “We also want to make sure that our store is clean, our food is fresh and everything is in stock as it should be. We really think that our customers will be happy with the store.”
As an added show of dedication to the community, Williams said the store is planning on making some donations to area groups during their grand opening. He said, “We’ve already heard from officials with the City of Seligman and the Chamber of Commerce, and we will be making some donations to them during our grand opening.”
With the Walmart opening, there has been much talk about the benefit of extra revenue for Seligman from sales tax and additional traffic. When asked about how much the city might benefit, Seligman City Clerk Brian Nichols stated, “We have not looked into the store’s projected sales or other figures, but my personal opinion is that we are looking at an extra $30-50,000 per year.” He went on to say sales tax revenue goes to general administration, police, the library, parks, streets and capitol improvement in the city.
According to Terry Burgess, Seligman Police Chief, rumors about adding a new officer with the additional revenue is mostly false. Burgess stated, “My goal is to cover as many hours with officers as possible without draining the budget. If the revenue goes up, then I’ll probably ask for a new officer, but we aren’t talking about that yet.”
Despite some concern over how the store will impact local commerce, most community response has been positive. Burgess, also a local business owner stated, “I think overall it will be positive as a whole for the town with the revenue that it’ll bring in. As a small business owner myself, I am looking forward to the extra traffic it could bring to town, as well.”
So far the City sees mostly advantages to Walmart coming in. Nichols stated, “An advantage is obviously the draw to the area and being at the main intersection in the city, it will be seen by almost everyone travelling in and through Seligman. I hear a lot of people talk about the pharmacy and saving them a trip to Cassville.”
As far as disadvantages, some have been worried about the town’s grocery store, Norm’s, closing. However, the store has advantages that the new Walmart can’t compete with. Nichols stated, “Norm’s Grocery has a butcher on site that cuts excellent meat, and he has a great selection of hardware that is most convenient.”
There has been speculation that with Walmart might come other businesses, as well. Nichols stated, “We are hopeful. There seems to be a lot of desire for a Sonic or other fast food place to come to the city.”
Once the Walmart Neighborhood Market opens, the hours will be Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Pharmacy hours will be Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.