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Tacoma Walmart workers busy stocking shelves – opening set for July 17

Post by C.R. Roberts / The News Tribune on July 2, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
July 2, 2013 3:50 pm

Monique Fritch puts up a sign to identify each area of the new 148,000-square-foot Tacoma Walmart store on Tuesday. Co-worker Lilly Smith gives the next sign to be put up. (Lui Kit Wong/staff photographer)
Monique Fritch puts up a sign to identify each area of the new 148,000-square-foot Tacoma Walmart store on Tuesday. Co-worker Lilly Smith gives the next sign to be put up. (Lui Kit Wong/staff photographer)

The rosebushes are blooming in the parking lot and the baked beans and peanut butter are on the shelves at Walmart Store No. 4137, the 52nd in the state and the first within the Tacoma city limits.

More than 300 newly hired employees have been busy these past few days stocking the shelves while workers outside finished striping the parking lot.

At a staff meeting as the afternoon shift reported for duty Tuesday, the cheer went up inside: “4-1-3-7, shopping here is shopping heaven!”

Store manager Adam Fann announced Tuesday that the store will open to the public on July 17, one year after planning began at the site of the former Tacoma Elks lodge.

Fann said the store will feature more than 85,000 separate pieces of merchandise, from groceries to garden supplies, from microwave ovens to underwear. While many non-perishable items have already found a home on the shelves, all fresh foods will be stocked within the final three days before the doors open.

And when those doors do open, Fann said, first-day shoppers can expect to share in a celebration featuring games, giveaways, a giant cake and various forms of what Walmart calls “retail-tainment.” (For example, think of a Oreo cookie stacking contest for the kids.)

Featured at the store, at 1965 S. Union Ave. on the upper lip of Nalley Valley, will be an in-house Subway sandwich shop and a branch of America’s Credit Union. Among the technological innovations at the store, shoppers at home or at work will be able to order items online and then pick them up thanks to a “Pickup Today” service.

“Things are getting pretty exciting,” Fann said. “My biggest worry is that I’m missing something. I want it to be perfect.”

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