Waveland's Wal-Mart Super Center Almost Complete - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Waveland's Wal-Mart Super Center Almost Complete

Katrina gutted nearly all of Waveland's businesses, including the city's Wal-Mart Super Center.

In October, the store reopened in a tent. Then, it moved indoors in a limited capacity at the old site. Now, as shoppers walk the air-conditioned aisles of Waveland's Wal-Mart Express, the store is being transformed back into a Super Center.

"This whole area was a shell. There was nothing here. There was a feeding area on the corner. There was very little life anywhere along Highway 90, certainly. To get to Wal-Mart, which was also our date night, we had to go all the way into Picayune," said Florida residents Richard and Karen Todd.

The two have been helping with relief and rebuilding efforts in Hancock County since mid-September. Rounding up supplies has become easier for the couple, as Waveland's Wal-Mart has continued to expand.

"We have already been in and out of the store a number of times. We're loving the fact that the inventory is coming back up to full, so we'll be using it more and more," Richard said.

Over the weekend, the grocery area became fully operational, except for the seafood section. On Monday, the Wal-Mart Express banner that's been hanging outside the store was replaced with a permanent Wal-Mart Super Center sign.

"The new Super Center will be basically like a standard Wal-Mart Super Center. The express catered more towards needs for the recovery and rebuilding process. We sold more bulk and less variety in express," said store manager Ray Cox.

Cox says the new Super Center will add more money to local coffers and provide hundreds of job opportunities. 

"We're probably needing roughly 200 associates to get the building back up to full staff to be able to operate a full 24 hours," Cox said.

The Waveland Wal-Mart is expected to officially open as a Super Center in mid-July.

By Toni Miles

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