BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Walmart's new approach for making shopping more convenient is about to make its South Mississippi debut. This fall, Walmart will open two new stores called neighborhood markets. This is a dramatic change for a company that, for many years, was known for its massive supercenters.
Crews are building a kind of Walmart store that is new to South Mississippi. The store will have the look and feel of a typical grocery store.
When the Biloxi neighborhood market opens this fall, Angillette Williams will be charged with making sure customers have a good experience.
"I feel honored to be the store manager of this new location," said Angillette Williams. "I think it's going to bring a lot of convenience to the community and I'm excited to get into the building and just run that building."
People who want to run into the store and pick up a gallon of milk or a package of hamburger meat are the kind of customers the neighborhood markets will cater to. The stores which will be on Pass Road in Biloxi and Central Avenue in D'Iberville will be 40,000 square feet, which is a quarter of the size of the supercenters.
"Today, convenience is more important than ever," said Market Manager Brian Thomas. "The supercenters are convenient because you can go there and get everything that's on your list, but we also understand that groceries are what people buy more frequently. So we wanted to be able to drop the neighborhood markets in more convenient locations in neighborhoods with fresh food, pharmaceuticals, and things of that nature to make it more convenient for people because time is money in today's world."
Along with the new stores, they'll of course be looking for new employees.
"These stores will have approximately 95 associates working at each one, so a few of those jobs will be filled by people who already work for Walmart who chose to transfer in," Thomas said. "But largely it will be a matter of hiring people to work in these stores. "
These two stores are set to open this year. Walmart is planning to open a hiring center for the Biloxi and D'Iberville stores in the next few weeks which will give people an opportunity to apply for jobs online. However, officials say people who want to apply sooner can go to any Walmart on the Coast fill out a paper application and submit it at that store.
Walmart said next year it hopes to open more neighborhood markets in South Mississippi. But, another new business model not set to come to our area is the Express.
"Express are very small stores, sort of like a dollar store," Thomas said. "In our concept of an Express, they'll have more food. They'll have the meat and the produce and things like that people are accustomed to finding in a dollar store. So it will be even more convenient for people when those are located in their neighborhood. They can grab a gallon of milk and a package of hamburger meat, then get back home and get on with their daily lives."