Walmart Superstore nearing completion

Published 4:40 pm Friday, June 11, 2004

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- The current expansion of the Niles Walmart to a Walmart Supercenter aims to create a one stop shopping experience to meet all of the needs of its customers.
With the grand opening for the expansion set for the beginning of September, shoppers will be able to buy everything from sporting goods and jewelry to groceries and a haircut.
The store will almost double in size growing from 110,000 square feet to 192,000 square feet.
Niles Walmart store manager Dennis Carlson said the most significant benefit of the Walmart Supercenter will be that it will provide one store with a very diverse line of goods and services.
The new addition's biggest feature will be the grocery area that will include meat, produce and bakery departments. The expansion will also make room for a hair care department.
The corporate offices look at the community support a store is receiving when deciding if an expansion is necessary, Carlson said.
Constant construction, the shuffling of departments and merchandise and a change in the location of the entrance have all caused some minor inconveniences, but Walmart has not been closed for even one day.
The store even stayed open as an entire wall was knocked out to facilitate the expansion. Construction crews put up a temporary "dust wall" to shield the rest of the store during the wall's demolition.
Carlson said it was a loud process that shook the building, but it did not stop people from doing their shopping.
He commended Walmart customers for putting up with the disruptions that have been caused by the construction and said that business has not been affected as much as anticipated.
Cindy Parent, a merchandiser with the Handleman Company, has worked in other Walmart Supercenters and said the new stores are a big improvement.
She said new updated fixtures will make the merchandise more accessible and other improvements will make the entire store more customer friendly.
One of those improvements is the brighter, more inviting atmosphere created by having a higher ceiling with sky lights in the new grocery wing of the store.
Jo McCauley, a door greeter at Walmart, has seen customers pass in and out of the store throughout all of the changes that are currently taking place.
And judging by the reactions she gets every day, she thinks the expansion will be a welcome addition to the Niles community.