Wal-Mart Supercenter celebrates grand opening

Creating 200 new jobs and focusing on charitable support and “everyday low prices,” the newly relocated Wal-Mart Supermarket in Rockford celebrates its grand opening Wednesday, May 18. Doors opened at 8 a.m. The store location is 7219 Walton St.

Originally opened in 1990 at 7143 E. State St., the newly relocated store has gained more than 100,690 additional square feet. According to Store Manager Bethene Newman, the new 203,084-square foot Wal-Mart Supercenter features 36 general merchandise departments including apparel and accessories, fine jewelry, a lawn and garden center, health and beauty aids, and a full line of electronics. The store also offers a bakery, a delicatessen, a frozen food section and meat, dairy and fresh produce sections. It will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will include 18 full-service, eight express and nine self-checkout lanes.

Other store features include: a Tire & Lube Express, a vision center, a McDonald’s, a portrait studio, a Cost Cutters hair salon, a one-hour photo, a branch of Members Alliance Bank, a pharmacy with two drive-through lanes, a nail salon and a Wal-Mart Connect Center for cellular phone sales.


The store employs approximately 447 associates, which includes 200 jobs created by the relocation. More than 2,500 people applied for jobs at the new store, most of which will be full time. As of October 2004, the average wage at Wal-Mart for full-time hourly associates in Illinois was $9.92 per hour.

“We were thrilled with the large pool of applicants we had for our jobs,” said Newman. “It makes me proud to work for this company where there truly are unlimited opportunities.” Newman started as an hourly associate 19 years ago at a store in Rochelle. Fifty-seven of Rockford store’s associates have worked for Wal-Mart for more than 10 years, added Newman.

Charitable giving

Upon its opening, the store will announce $23,125 in donations through Wal-Mart’s Good Works community involvement program to several organizations. The store will also have a budget for local donations throughout the year. Organizations interested in receiving funding can contact the store for details.

Groups receiving donations upon the store’s opening include: ARC of Winnebago, Boone and Ogle Counties; Blackhawk Area Boy Scout Council—Troop 477; Blackhawk Area Boy Scout Council—Pack 400; Blackhawk Area Boy Scout Council—Troop 700; Boys and Girls Club Association of Rockford; Children’s Home and Aid Society of Illinois; City of Rockford Fire Department; City of Rockford Police Department; Kiwanis Club; Patriots Gateway Community Center; Rock River Valley Pantry; Rockford 4th of July Civic Committee; Rockford Area Chamber of Commerce; Rockford Day Nursery; Rockford MELD; Ronald McDonald’s House of Charities of Madison; Sara Ingrassia Dictionary Fund; Shelter Care Ministries; Ski Broncs Inc.; Special Olympics Illinois; United Way of Rock River Valley; Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation; White Swan Elementary School; Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department.

During the past fiscal year, Wal-Mart Stores and Sam’s Club locations contributed $5.5 million to local causes and organizations in the communities they serve in the state of Illinois, and raised an additional $2.2 million for a grand total of close to $7.8 million.

By the numbers

As of March 15, 2005, Wal-Mart employed 43,174 associates and owned and operated the following facilities in the state of Illinois: Supercenters—45; Discount stores—78; Sam’s Clubs—28; Distribution Centers—three.

In the last fiscal year, Wal-Mart collected on behalf of the state of Illinois sales taxes at rates ranging from 6.25 to 8.75 percent and paid more than $61.2 million in state and local taxes.

From the May 18-24, 2005, issue.

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