1 Year After Referendum Victory, Wal-Mart Opens Neighborhood Market in Russellville

by Mark Carter  on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014 10:17 am  

(Photo by Wal-Mart Stores Inc.)

Russellville's first Walmart Neighborhood Market opened Wednesday, almost a year to the day after city voters upheld a zoning ordinance that made its construction possible.

The store is located at West Main and Vancouver streets on the city's growing west side. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville says the new store will provide up to 95 full- and part-time jobs and offer Walmart's free Site to Store program, where customers can purchase items online at Walmart.com and pick them up at the new Russellville store, usually the same day.

In addition to Russellville, Wal-Mart is opening 270 to 300 "small format" stores this year. Neighborhood Markets are roughly one-quarter the size of a Supercenter and are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Wal-Mart operates about 300 Neighborhood Markets in the U.S.

"We continue to see growth in our population and in economic development in Russellville and we are excited for this new Walmart Neighborhood Market to open its doors," Russellville Mayor Bill Eaton said in a news release. "Walmart is bringing steady jobs and additional tax revenue that will help fund the services demanded by the growing population of our great city."

The store's construction on the 9-acre site, a former family farm, was met with some resistance last year. Opponents cited increased traffic and proximity to residential neighborhoods as concerns. A group that owns a neighboring shopping center that includes a competing grocery store successfully forced a referendum on the zoning ordinance, which was passed in April 2013 and necessary for Walmart to proceed with the project.

But voters upheld the zoning ordinance with 59 percent of the vote.

As part of its Wednesday grand opening, Wal-Mart presented $5,000 grants to the Pope County Library and Dwight and Crawford elementary schools in Russellville.



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