North Tonawanda Walmart Store Opens

August 15, 2012 Updated Aug 15, 2012 at 11:26 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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North Tonawanda Walmart Store Opens

August 15, 2012 Updated Aug 15, 2012 at 11:26 AM EDT

NORTH TONAWANDA, NY, (WKBW/WALMART Press Release) - A new Walmart opens this month in North Tonawanda, bringing approximately 300 new jobs, savings for local shoppers and an increase in tax revenue to support the area's economy. Nonprofit organizations will also benefit from the retailer's ongoing charitable contributions and support for community projects. The North Tonawanda Walmart, located at 866 Niagara Falls Blvd., will open to customers at 8 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 15.

The new North Tonawanda Walmart will employ approximately 300 associates, according to store manager Chris Lazarou. Lazarou began his Walmart career in 1993, stocking shelves at a store in Niagara Falls. Several associates have worked for Walmart for more than 10 years and come from nearby stores.

In recent months, Walmart has taken major steps to refresh its stores, merchandising and customer experience. The improvements have all come together in the company's newest stores, such as the North Tonawanda Walmart, with fast service, a friendly shopping experience and clean stores.

The new Walmart features enhanced service and a layout designed to make the shopping experience more convenient for customers. Walmart aligned the departments that customers shop most frequently. The pharmacy, for example, is adjacent to health and beauty, making it easier for customers to pick up their prescriptions while shopping for their everyday needs.

"The layout of the store is easy to navigate, which will save our customers time as they shop for everyday necessities," said Lazarou. "By grouping the products that our customers most often purchase, including health and beauty and pet supplies, we are making one-stop shopping even easier."

A bright interior color palette creates an inviting shopping experience and helps define the store's merchandise areas. Lower shelving creates an improved sightline, and directional signage on every aisle helps customers find what they are looking for quickly. Customers now have easy access to the services they need, as well as associates on hand to assist.

Community Organizations Benefit from Grand-Opening Grants
As part of Walmart's commitment to the communities in which it operates, grants from Walmart and the Walmart Foundation will be presented during the grand-opening celebration and throughout the year.

Organizations receiving grants during the grand opening all provide support to the North Tonawanda community.

Store Design Incorporates Environmentally Friendly Features
The North Tonawanda 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 harvest daylight and reduce the amount of energy required to light the store by up to 75 percent daily. LED lighting in the store operates 70 percent more efficiently than traditional fluorescent lighting.

The cement used in the concrete flooring is made with recycled materials, and the floor's finish reduces the need for chemical cleaners. Low-flow toilets and faucets reduce the water used in the bathrooms. The new store also operates a recycling program and will promote sustainable product purchases.

Community and business leaders will join Walmart associates at 7:30 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 15, for a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony. Mayor Robert Ortt is among the scheduled speakers.

Ortt said the North Tonawanda store will greatly benefit the city, not only for the value and convenience it brings, but also for the new jobs and additional sales tax revenue the store will generate.

"North Tonawanda gladly welcomes the world's largest retailer to our city," Ortt said. "The benefits of an expanded tax base, increased sales tax revenue and more than 300 new jobs cannot be underestimated."

He also expects the new Walmart store to increase retail development in the area, which means even more revenue will remain in the county.

"As North Tonawanda moves from an economy that was primarily a manufacturing/industrial economy, to one that includes a strong focus on retail, it only makes sense to have the world's largest retailer here," he said.

Information about Walmart can be found by visiting walmartstores.com