Located in the heart of Liberty, Texas, the newly remodeled Walmart store #1186 held a grand reopening on Friday to show off some of the more than $6 million in improvements that Walmart Corporation has invested in the store. The renovations offer an advanced shopping experience to local residents. Walmart Store Manager Barry Jones led the grand reopening event on Friday, Nov. 3, receiving cheers and applause from dozens of attendees as he acknowledged the tireless efforts of the construction team.
With a completion date tightly constrained by rigorous deadlines, the remodeling was both a challenge and a success. As Jones conveyed during his speech, “The process of getting here has been difficult. So many things have went wrong, but then again, so many things have went right. If you all have seen the store a couple of days ago, you would say, ‘How in the world are they going to get that store ready?'”
Jones credited his staff, some of whom have been with Walmart for 20-30 years, the construction team and Walmart’s market team for pushing the project across the finish line. There are still a few cosmetic projects to complete, such as some painting, but contractors were busy working on these even as the grand reopening was held.
Among the improvements are:
- Additional self-checkout registers
- Expansion of the online grocery area of the store, which now has its own refrigeration systems
- Upgrades to the WIFI internet system so customers can enjoy better shopping experiences
- New technology and equipment
- An area at the front of the grocery side that has sandwiches, salads, cold deli items, snacks and drinks for quick lunch or dinner purchases
- New signage
- Expanded wine and food selection
Of all the improvements, Jones said he is most proud of the store’s new backup generator.
“So when disaster strikes, Walmart will still be able to serve our community. This is a multi-million dollar investment to make our customer shopping experience the absolute best,” he said.
The Liberty Walmart store is a vital cog in the community, providing dozens of jobs and significant sales tax revenue for the City of Liberty, a sentiment expressed by Liberty Mayor Carl Pickett when he took the podium to speak at the event.
“We thank Walmart because they obviously contribute a lot to our revenue at the City of Liberty. Not to dwell too much on the hard dollar, but it’s obvious that they are very important to our local economy and our city of Liberty government. They use a lot of our services – electricity, water, sanitary sewer, garbage – and we thank them for being such a strong member economically and otherwise,” Mayor Pickett said, calling Walmart “good corporate citizens.”
While the City of Dayton doesn’t share the sales tax benefits of the Walmart store, the Liberty Walmart store wanted to be inclusive on Dayton as it is only six miles away and many Dayton residents shop at the store. Dayton city officials were asked to take part in the celebration.
In his remarks at the grand reopening, Dayton Mayor Martin Mudd said, “The City of Dayton really appreciates the service that Walmart provides to our residents and to the local economy, and just want to say thank you, and thank you for having us.”
Walmart paid homage to the tight bonds that exist between Liberty and Dayton in a mural that will greet customers on the grocery side of the store. It is located just inside the entryway and features a painting of the Liberty County Courthouse, the old railroad trestle bridge, a Dayton water tower, the Liberty Bell, bluebonnets and a Longhorn bull.
The celebration was also an opportunity for Liberty Walmart to distribute donations to local organizations. They are pictured below.