Walmart neighborhood market opens on Hwy 49 in Gulfport - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Walmart neighborhood market opens on Hwy 49 in Gulfport

ulfport's first Walmart neighborhood market opened Wednesday morning off Highway 49. (Photo source: WLOX) ulfport's first Walmart neighborhood market opened Wednesday morning off Highway 49. (Photo source: WLOX)
The neighborhood market is 41,000 feet in size. (Photo source: WLOX) The neighborhood market is 41,000 feet in size. (Photo source: WLOX)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Gulfport's first Walmart Neighborhood Market opened Wednesday on Hwy 49 in Orange Grove. It will offer shoppers another choice for groceries, and give almost 100 people new job opportunities.

For some employees, like Adrienn South, it's a new beginning.

"Well, I've ben working in retail for about five years, and this experience with Walmart, I'm hoping to move up in the company. I love customers, I'm a people person," South said.

For managers who did the hiring, this was a good day. Just listen to Naomi Sessum.

"Everybody that we've offered a job to, they've been enthusiastic about it. They've been eager and ready to come in and work and it's an awesome feeling," Sessum explained.

This smaller neighborhood market concept is starting to take over the Walmart corporation. They see this as the future. It also means a good future for the employees. That's the word from store manager Kevin Gaines. "We have the opportunity to work more closely with the associates, developing them as people, developing their careers. We're able to spend more one on one time with those associates, being that we are smaller," Gaines said.

One of those associates is Lawrence Bennett, an overnight stocker. "Actually, I'm hoping to go pretty far with Walmart. They treat us well, they help us out a lot, they show us how to do the job," Bennett said.

Without customers, there would be no jobs. So what do they think of the new store? Michele Lawrence and her daughter were on of the first ones in the door.

"I'm excited that they are open 24 hours. I'm a school teacher and some of the other stores don't open until 7am. I have to be to work by 7am, so if I want to run in and buy something before school for my class, it's going to make it so much easier," Lawrence said.

That's something these new associates like to hear.

The new store is located on Hwy 49, about a mile north of I-10. As part of Wednesday's opening ceremony, the company handed out $7,000 in checks to several local charities and schools in the Orange Grove area.

Copyright 2015 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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