Walmart invests in Oklahoma

By Sheila Stogsdill

Walmart is investing millions of dollars in Oklahoma stores in a three-fold investment plan, including two stores in northeast Oklahoma.

“Shopping is changing,” said Anne Hatfield, Walmart corporate communications. “Shoppers' habits are changing and Walmart is making sure they keep up.”

Stores located in Grove and Vinita are part of the multi-million dollar capital investments, she said.

“The stores remain the same size but the enhancements are inside the store,” Hatfield said.

The improvement include expanding the produce, bakery and deli departments and providing more organic products, upgrading the baby department with an interactive stroller garage and a state-of-the-art electronics department with interactive displays.

The upgrades at the stores allow for pickup stations near the front of the store, improved store flow, wider aisles, lower fixtures for better line of sight and the addition of a mother’s room along with upgrades to the bathrooms.

“Remodeling usually lasts about two months and each store remains open during the remodeling process,” Hatfield said.

Vinita’s store should start this month and Grove should start in early September, she said.

The Arkansas-based company’s 2017 investment plans include remodeling 14 stores throughout Oklahoma and launching five online grocery pickup locations.

“Online Grocery Pickup service will launch in five new markets this year for a total of 22 grocery pickup locations in Oklahoma, Hatfield said. “It is too early to know if Grove and Vinita stores are on the list,”

Walmart plans to open three new training academies in Edmond, Guthrie and Lawton for a total of five academies in Oklahoma. These facilities have trained nearly 3,000 Walmart associates, she said.

Other stores in Oklahoma undergoing remodeling work are in Broken Arrow, Edmond, Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

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