Walmart Supercenter Set to Open Next Week

By Beacon Staff

Doors to the newly constructed Walmart Supercenter in Kalispell’s Hutton Ranch Plaza will open at 8 a.m. on June 16.

The old Walmart location on Idaho Street in Evergreen is closing and employees are being transferred to the Supercenter. In addition to the transferred workers, another 175 new employees are being hired, according to store manager Julie Keyes. Fifteen of those workers have been with the Evergreen store since it opened in 1995.

The store will employ more than 400 employees total. And at 188,028 square feet, it is nearly 50 percent bigger than the Evergreen store. It is located at 170 Hutton Ranch Road in north Kalispell and will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Among the Supercenter’s features are a grocery department with a bakery, produce section and deli serving fresh food; a beer and wine department; a drive-through lawn and garden center; an expanded electronics department; a pharmacy; a digital photo processing center; a Subway; more than 30 merchandise departments including apparel; and a cell phone center.

Also on display at the store are reorganization efforts made at all of Walmart’s newest stores: wide aisles, improved layout, directional signage, more energy-efficient technology, skylights that provide more daylight and better department alignment.

“The layout of the store is easy to navigate, which will save our customers time as they shop for everyday necessities,” Keyes said. “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 ribbon-cutting celebration is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. on June 16, immediately followed by doors opening at 8 a.m. At the early-morning celebration, there will be a singing of the national anthem and the American Legion will present the colors.

There are more than 8,400 Walmart locations in 15 countries, employing more than 2 million workers worldwide. According to a Walmart press release, average wage for a full-time employee at Walmart in Montana is $11.86 per hour. Benefits, available to both full-time and part-time workers, include health insurance, 401(k) plans and profit-sharing contributions.

The Walmart Foundation is contributing $60,000 in grants to two local organizations: Special Olympic Winter Games of Montana and the Montana State Giving Grant. The grants will be presented during the grand opening celebration.

The lead contractor in the construction of the Supercenter was the Henry Carlson Company, based out of Sioux Falls. S.D. Keyes said local subcontractors were hired throughout the building process.