Bagpipers, dancing Chinese lions and rousing cheers greeted the official opening of Nanaimo’s new Wal-Mart Supercentre Friday morning.
“I just want to welcome everyone to the new Nanaimo Wal-Mart Supercentre,” said greeter Tim Kerfoot, before cutting the ribbon and opening the doors to the expanded 150,000-square-foot store that now features a large fresh food section.
Nanaimo Mayor John Ruttan was among the dignitaries in attendance to mark the grand opening of the newly renovated and expanded store that is the size of two football fields.
The new Wal-Mart Supercentre has 350 employees, many of whom were on hand as more than $50,000 in donations were presented to service organizations ranging from the Canada Miracle Network, Canadian Red Cross, Heart and Stroke Foundation, the 7-10 Club and the VIU soccer team.
“We’re not very vocal about what we do in the community,” said Ken Baird, store manager. “But we do a lot with VIU, the 7-10 Club, Special Olympics and the RCMP.”
Baird added that he’d received nothing but positive comments from Wal-Mart customers about the new look store which took four months to renovate and features a full range of food items except for a bakery and deli section.
“My favourite place to shop is Wal-Mart – it’s No. 1,” said Harewood resident Maria Corriea, who likes the low prices and that she doesn’t need a membership card to take advantage of deals.