Prince Rupert’s Walmart is now open for business.
The former Zellers location in the Rupert Square Mall has been completely renovated and redesigned to accommodate the Walmart, which includes a grocery section, a photo lab, a pharmacy and other departments found in stores across North America.
“Our Prince Rupert Walmart is a one-stop shop. We have everything people need, and our goal is to save people money so they can live better,” said manager Andy Mills in a ceremony held before the store opened.
“We want to provide customers with the excellent service Walmart is renowned for. We want them to come in and get their daily needs and get those things they may not need daily….We want to provide them with the ultimate shopping experience.”
Work on the new store has been ongoing for a number of months, something district manager Ray Holden recognized during his speech which likened the work on the store to the famous 1972 Summit Series between Canada and Russia.
“I was here about a week ago thinking, ‘We’re down three games, are we going to pull this off?’. When I was here yesterday I was thinking, ‘It’s the final game, we’re going into the third period and we’re down a couple. Are we going to pull this off?’,” he said.
“When I walked in this morning, magic happened.”
Prince Rupert mayor Jack Mussallem was also on hand to welcome Walmart to the community.
“A lot of people in town are very excited about this. You were able to set-up in, I believe, record time…I am thankful you are one of the dozen new businesses that have opened in Prince Rupert over the last 20 months. I am thankful you are able to employ 55 people in Prince Rupert in direct jobs, and create some indirect jobs,” he said.
As well as cake and a ribbon cutting, Mills announced Walmart would be donating $1,000 to five community groups including the SPCA, the Prince Rupert Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, the Prince Rupert Regional Community Foundation, the Friendship House and the North Coast Health Improvement Society.
The store in Prince Rupert was one of 10 new Walmarts being opened today.