PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - "The company has really upscaled the store," said Rob Richardson, Manager of the new Walmart in Pass Christian.
The moment you walk through the doors of the store, what hits you first is just how open and inviting it looks.
"It's huge. Our seasonal area is really cool," Richardson said.
The layout of the 153,000 square foot building is different from typical Walmart stores.
"This is going to be the service desk and photo area," said co-manager Charlie Moran as he pointed to one of the entrances.
You won't find displays cluttering the aisles.
"You'll be able to see from one end of the store to the other," Moran said.
And certain departments have moved to more convenient locations. For instance, the pharmacy is now located closer to the groceries.
"More of our traffic comes in the food side of the store," Moran said. "And when they come in the door, it's right here for them in the middle of the store in the food area here."
The store is also more environmentally-friendly, with extra LED lighting, skylights, and floors made from recycled Fly Ash.
Shelves are lower for easier access, and shoppers will have more technology choices in the electronics area.
"The visual impact and really the assortment of electronics is much greater than it was just a couple of years ago," Richardson said.
Employees are still stocking and pricing merchandise, preparing the store for its October 14th grand opening. Pass Christian's mayor is just as excited as the employees to see Walmart's return to the Pass.
"It's a reincarnation, reincarnation. This is really nice," Mayor Chipper McDermott said. "We are looking forward to October 14th. Counting the days."
"Our associates came in in tears, many of them, because it's such an emotional time," Richardson said. "I think that our store coming back is really, it's a real sign that recovery is occurring and it's important in people's lives."
The new Walmart will also feature a Subway restaurant, a vision center, and gas station. The store employs about 300 people and is expected to generate about $50,000 in tax revenues every month for the city of Pass Christian.
Click here to learn more about available jobs at the Pass Christian Wal-Mart.