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Columbia welcomes new Walmart Supercenter
Store manager Danny Bragg emcees big opening. Huge crowd at 7:00am affair. Shoppers exceed expectations for first day. CJE, Mayor, Chamber Executive Director speak; District Manager Ken Rush recalls 5 generations of family in retail business in Columbia; staff, long time employees recognized.
With photos at bottom of story (more being added)
Special ColumbiaMagazine.com story
With a 24-year history of serving customers in Columbia and surrounding areas, Walmart marked another milestone Wedesday, October 29, 2008 as the Walmart Supercenter in the city opened its doors. The new Supercenter brings 200 additional jobs, wider selection of products, and a full grocery line.
The new store is located at 2988 Burkesville Road in the Holladay Place Shopping Center. Doors opened to to customers at 8:00amCT, Wednesday, October 29, 2008, following a 7:00am grand-opening ceremony.
The new store is expected to attract customers from across South-Central Kentucky, including Adair, Casey, Clinton, Cumberland, Metcalfe, Green, Russell and Taylor Counties.
Manager Danny Bragg emcees
Danny Bragg, who was manager at the now closed Jamestown Street Store and the first manager of the new Supercenter, emceed the opening ceremony. An invocation was given by Rev. Joe Payne. The color guard from Columbia VFW Post 6097 was present, and a brass ensemble from the Adair County High School band, under the direction of Mr. Tim Allen, provided patriotic music.
Lindsey Wilson soloist Trey Bault sang the "Star Spangled Banner.
Mr. Bragg recognized the family of the late Don Franklin, who had dreamed of the center's development after buying the Frank Holladay farm. Members of Mr. Franklin's family, who took part in the first ribbon cutting ceremony, were all present, wearing lapel stickers with Mr. Franklin's likeness and a picture of the front of the center, inscribed "Don's Dream Lives On." Also recognized were Mr. Franklin's Holladay Place partners, R.L. Walker and Marshall Loy.
Adair County Judge Executive Ann Melton speaks
CJE Ann Melton was the first dignitary to make remarks. She paid tribute to the vision of the late Don Franklin, to Judge Walker and Marshall Loy of Holladay Place, and to Patricia Holladay Bennett, whose family sold the land for the development.
Judge Melton said, "This store will bring a lot of people to Columbia. It's the start of more big things happening here." She noted that over 200 new jobs will be added to the Adair County economy.
Sue Stivers speaks
Sue Stivers, executive director of the Columbia-Adair County Chamber of Commerce, spoke, welcoming the new Walmart store. She recognized the members of the Franklin family, and the late Don Franklin, for his vision and for seeing this dream of his fulfilled.
Mayor Bell notes jobs, new tax revenue
"We anticipate people coming into Columbia now to shop even more," said Columbia Mayor Patrick R. Bell. "This store will mean a lot to our city in terms of jobs and sales tax revenue. The jobs are much-needed in this community and one of the top reasons we are pleased with Walmart's decision to put a Supercenter here."
Special recognition for Walmart employees, staff
Mr. Bragg announced the new co-manager of the store, Andy Watts, the son of Chris Watts of Columbia. Watts is a 10 year veteran of Wal-Mart, and is returning to Columbia from Lexington.
Area manager and Columbia native Ken Rush recalls local ties
Columbia native Ken Rush, now the District Manager of 12 Walmart Supercenters, was introduced to the huge crowd at the ribbon cutting.
Rush told how the opening of the Walmart Supercenter is a continuation of fove generations of his family in the mercantile business In Adair County.
He was born the son of Joyce Owen Rush (now Twyman) and the late Ken Rush and at the old Adair Memorial Hospital, barely over one mile from the Holladay Place store.
Mr. Rush said that he had a special interest in seeing that the store opened in Columbia, and just as great an interest in seeing it succeed.
His mother, Joyce Twyman, who now lives in Hodgenville, KY, was present for the ceremony. Mrs. Twyman attended Columbia High School and graduated from Adair County High School (1958).
After the ceremony, she said that her son's great great grandfather was H.T. Ingram, his great grandfather was Henry Ingram, his grandfather was Roy Owen, all of whom were in the retail business on the Square in Columbia.
"My father ran Owen's Men's Wear (where the Cafe' on the Square is today)," she said, "and when he died, I owned the business for a while." Now her son, Ken Rush, is in the mercantile business in Columbia, and that makes five generations of his family who have been merchants here.
Recognition of management
Mr. Bragg introduced the management of the present store to the opening ceremony crowd. They include:
More room allows for wider selection
When entering the new Supercenter customers will immediately notice the bright interior color palette and wide aisles. The new 156,000-square-feet Supercenter features a full line of groceries, including a bakery, a delicatessen offering a variety of prepared foods, fresh produce, frozen foods, and meat and dairy selections.
"With the holidays right around the corner, this store will offer everything to prepare the perfect family meal," Store Manager Danny Bragg said. "Our produce section offers the best in fresh fruits and vegetables, and our meat selection provides a variety of choices."
The store will feature a Christmas Shop where customers can meet all their holiday needs at affordable prices. Budget-conscious shoppers can find Christmas trees, ornaments, wrapping paper, lights and outside decor.
"We believe our customers will be looking to stretch their dollars more than ever this holiday season," Mr. Bragg said. "Our new store will provide affordable and convenient solutions to help customers meet their Christmas shopping needs."
Other highlights of the Supercenter include a pharmacy offering Walmart's expanded $4 prescription program, a vision center and a one-hour photo lab for digital processing. Additional leased space and services include a Subway restaurant, a SmartStyle Family Hair Salon and a branch of Woodforest Bank.
The new store will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
State-of-the-Art sustainability features highlight store
In his remarks at the store's open, Mr. Bragg related inovations in the Columbia store's construction which makes it "green," or environmentally friendly.
This new store was constructed with energy-efficient technology and environmentally-friendly features to reduce energy and water consumption and minimize waste, he said. Part of the cement used in the store's concrete flooring is made with recycled materials from coal-fired electrical generation and steel manufacturing. "The floor's finish also reduces the need for harsh chemical cleaners," he said. "That makes the store healthier and it keeps the chemicals out of the environment."
More than 160 skylights harvest daylight and reduce the energy required to light the store by up to 75 percent daily. LED lighting in the coolers and non-sales areas of the store also operate 70 percent more efficiently than traditional fluorescent lighting. "People see the lights dim during the day," Mr. Bragg said, "and they may think that there's an electrical problem. But it's just the sensors kicking in when the sunlight is brighter."
Store leaders, in cooperation with the City of Columbia, also placed a focused effort on the exterior of the store to create a pleasing environment. More than 100 trees and 500 shrubs adorn the landscape, while a big flower bed accented by a raised rock wall is nestled between the two entrances.
"The structure looks great," Mayor Bell said. "I am especially happy with the landscaping. Walmart has definitely created a nice building."
Commitment to community
Wal-Mart has a long-standing commitment to the communities it serves. That commitment will continue in Columbia as the new store distributes $16,000 in grants from the Wal-Mart Foundation to five area charitable organizations in celebration of the grand opening. This pledge includes a $7,500 grant to the Lake Cumberland-Adair County Center on Aging. The checks were presented in a special soft opening on Sunday afternoon, October 26, 2008.
Others receiving checks, besides the Center on Aging, were:
This story was posted on 2008-10-30 11:22:07
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