Walmart preps for Friday opening

Like their morning chant says, the employees of Salmon Arm’s Walmart store are all fired up and ready to go.

Final push: (Above) Store manager Lorrie Blackmore

Final push: (Above) Store manager Lorrie Blackmore

Like their morning chant says, the employees of Salmon Arm’s Walmart store are all fired up and ready to go.

With the store just two days away from its Friday 8 a.m. opening, employees are working full tilt to stock shelves, create displays and price merchandise for the city’s largest retail outlet. Store manager Lorrie Blackmore gave the Observer a sneak peek into the world of Walmart, from the morning meeting where staff celebrated their accident-free status, to the reminder to provide excellent customer service by making eye contact and smiling at every person within three metres.

“Everyone is so excited and proud to show off their hard work,” says Blackmore. “The staff have really taken ownership of this store. It’s exciting to watch everyone grow and learn and become a team. There’s so much enthusiasm.”

The store features a complete range of groceries, including a produce section and a large counter for pre-made meals like salads, breads and hot chickens. Departments include clothing, housewares, toys, automotive, electronics, sporting goods and more. There is a full-service pharmacy and a medical clinic, which has its own entrance and separate operating hours. There will be an opening ceremony at 7 a.m. with a ribbon cutting and donations to local charities before the doors open to the public.

As the preparations reach a fever pitch, employees will be logging plenty of hours.

“We’re still missing some things, but come 8 a.m. Friday, it’s go-time,” says Blackmore.