Crossett is upgrading from a discount Wal-Mart store to a new 24-hour Supercenter. The store will open in mid-January and will be located on Highway 82 in North Crossett.
Construction started on the new Supercenter in October 2003 and will be completed this November, which will allow time for setting up store shelves and moving in merchandise before the grand opening. The Supercenter will include 155,000 square feet of groceries, general merchandise, pharmacy, and tire and lube express, as well as a bank, a portrait studio, a hair salon and a snack bar. It will have the new exposed integrally colored floor slabs instead of the vinyl tile.
Most of Crossett is absolutely ecstatic over the new store. However, some believe the new store is completely unnecessary and not right for Crossett.
“I really believe that Crossett is not a good candidate for a Super Wal-Mart,” said Erin Anthony, a UAM student from Crossett. “From my experience, most of the people are not out-and-about late at night or early in the morning. I believe that average Wal-Mart hours would suffice as well as, if not better than, 24-hour Supercenter hours.”
Although Anthony found the idea of a new Supercenter underwhelming, she said she liked the idea of being able to make a late-night Wal-Mart run when she forgot to pick up a thing or two during the day, as well as the fact it would provide jobs for high school and college students.
The store's location will not only attract the large base of customers in North Crossett, but also Hamburg residents who can visit without even driving into town. However, some fear it may not be the perfect location.
“I think its location is going to cause some traffic problems,” said Scott McCormick, mayor of Crossett. “The relocating of McDonalds to that area is only going to add to the traffic. I have mixed emotions about it.”
The old discount Wal-Mart building is doomed into becoming yet another warehouse attracting more low-scale discount shops. More than 300 empty discount Wal-Mart stores sit on the market today, most of them shut down to make way for a Supercenter.
The new Wal-Mart should have a huge financial impact on the plethora of small shops and stores in Crossett. Brookshire’s, Jade Super Foods and Food Giant will all undoubtedly become economic victims to the grocery selling, price slashing juggernaut.
“One definite con of the Supercenter will be the stress it puts on grocery stores in Crossett,” Anthony said. “I can easily see the stores losing business to the Supercenter, which is unfortunate since they are such a social part of small-town life.”
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© The Voice, 2004
Revised 20041010 http://www.uamont.edu/Organizations/TheVoice/2_3/walmart.htm