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Posted: December 16, 2011 12:30 a.m.

New Walmart to hire 250 workers

Photo by Gabriel Khouli/

Newton County's new Walmart on Salem Road is scheduled to open March 14 and the company expects to hire 250 employees before then.

Walmart executives held a press conference Thursday at the Historic Courthouse to release details about the new store, the county's second Walmart.

The store will create about 250 jobs, mostly full-time, said spokesman Glen Wilkins, including stocking, sales, logistics and management. The store will also contain a hair salon and optical center.

People wanting to apply for jobs can do so online at walmartstores.com/careers or in person at the store's official, temporary hiring center at Prospect United Methodist Church, 6752 Ga. Highway 212. The store's code number is 4558. Those who make the first cut will be interviewed at the church.

The hiring center will open Wednesday center's hours will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

"We're excited about the opening in this community and thrilled to be able to partner with Walmart in helping to hire and find jobs in these economic times," said Prospect United Methodist Pastor Ronny Brannen. "We are talking about working with them in their grand opening."

The Supercenter will be 170,000 square feet, smaller than traditional Supercenters, like the 204,000 square-foot location on Ga. Highway 142.

Original plans in 2007 called for the store to hire between 300 and 350 employees, but Wilkins said the new, smaller store design eliminated some storage space, and more product is now placed on the floor, requiring fewer workers.

The store will have the same amenities as a traditional Supercenter, including a grocery with bakery, deli and produce sections, as well as a garden center, vision center, pharmacy and tire and battery section. The store will sell beer and wine, but not firearms, said Shawn Cohen, a Walmart regional human resource manager.

There will also be a Subway in the front of the store.

Walmart and its 688-parking spaces will take up about 26.73 acres of the 33.58 acre property, with the remaining acreage planned to house four other businesses.

Cohen said Walmart has around 56 stores in the Metro Atlanta Statistical Area.

Future Development
Chairman Kathy Morgan said a fast food restaurant and other businesses have already looked at purchasing land surrounding the new store.

"We've had inquiries from other companies that follow Walmart. A lot of developers will be interested," Morgan said after the press conference.

Morgan said the store will bring more sales tax dollars to Newton County by giving area residents a shopping option closer than Conyers. For many residents in western Newton County, Conyers is closer than Covington and has more shopping options.

Morgan said the rule of thumb for an established supercenter - one that's been open for three to five years - is that it will generate $1 million in revenue for each one percent of sales tax.

"The need is there in western Newton, hopefully, this will help stop the bleed (of sales tax dollars)," she said.

The Salem Road corridor is expected to be the next area of the county to experience significant commercial growth. The Newton County Board of Commissioners is working on a Salem Road zoning overlay which will promote a commercial node, where more dense development will be allowed.

Community Involvement
The store manager will be Newton resident Ron Tillman, who has lived in Newton for eight years and worked for Walmart for eight years.

Tillman said he plans to be active with the chamber and local churches.

"I'll definitely be visible," he said.

Walmart prides itself on being a good corporate partner, and Wilkins said he expects the new store to help locally with two of the company's focus areas: hunger and education.

Nonprofits seeking Walmart's help can apply online for corporate donations from specific stores.

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