There was a lot of excitement at the opening of the new Walmart today. The new Walmart has a lot of your basic needs such as groceries and also a pharmacy which is really exciting for the citizens of Italy. I spoke to Mayor Hobbs and the store manager, Mr Salas. The Walmart donated money to the local police force and the Italy High School and the Stafford Elementary.
So upon arriving at the ribbon cutting, Mayor Hobbs and council member Steven Farmer were there to cut the ribbon and open the store. Just before the ribbon cutting Walmart had unveiled their donation checks that they had written. They had written a $500.00 check to the Italy Police Department, the Milford Police Department, the Italy High School and Stafford Elementary.
My wife and I went into the store and looked around and took pictures of all the new produce.
I asked Mayor Hobbs how he felt about Walmart coming into Italy and he said, "I feel it is one of the greatest things to come in and hit Italy. For economic purposes and jobs. The way it looks on the inside here, the people are already just lining up to come in and purchase their groceries.”
I was also able to speak to Paco Salas the general manager at the Walmart in Italy and I asked him what the new Walmart was called and he said, "It is a Walmart Neighborhood Market. It is a smaller format of a normal Walmart. We are bringing into rural communities some of the basic needs like groceries and a pharmacy. The pharmacy I think is going to be our huge driver in this community. There is not a pharmacy here in the city. Everybody here has to drive twenty to thirty minutes just to pick up prescriptions. Other benefits are fresh produce, meats, dairy products, frozen items and also your basic commodities. That is what this format brings to this community.
I also asked Mr. Salas how many jobs Walmart had created for the citizens of Italy and surrounding towns and he replied, “We are creating about thirty five jobs. Some of those will be full time jobs and the majority will be part time jobs."