By Will Johnson
CROCKETT – The Crockett Walmart celebrated a “Grand Re-Opening” on Friday, June 21. County and city officials were on hand as the retail giant christened their newly renovated store.
Store Manager Debbie Warren opened the morning festivities and welcomed those in attendance. “First of all, I would like to thank y’all for taking time out of your day to come out and celebrate this grand re-opening,” she said.
“Hopefully, you guys can see the changes right away. We did install an entirely new produce department. All the flooring was replaced, along with a lot of signage and painting. We also have a new pharmacy and several new self-checkouts, which are going over very well,” Warren added.
“I personally want to thank some really key people involved with this whole event. One is Chris Carter. Chris is the Field Project Manager who oversaw the entire remodeling process for us. Chris and his team of Johnnie, Triva, Sharon, Quad and Debbie….I would really like to thank them for their efforts in seeing this through. Also, all these people over here in the blue shirts, I owe a huge thank you to them. They had to help us fight through this battle. We had counters moved everywhere and departments everywhere and they really helped me keep the store on track,” she said.
Warren also thanked a group of temporary employees for their assistance in the physical labor of the remodeling process before turning the program over to Crockett Mayor Wayne Mask. “We really appreciate Walmart and what it means to our community here in Crockett and in Houston County not just because of its investment in our community, not just because of the employment opportunity it provides so many people, but because of all the bake sales and free puppies that they allow to be given away out in the parking lot….just being a good member of our community, we appreciate that.”
Mask next read a proclamation from the city declaring it “Walmart Day” before yielding the floor to Houston County Judge Erin Ford. The judge said, “This is just like being at home. Walmart has always been home for us. They have everything here. We appreciate Walmart throughout the city and county and really enjoy the new look. We know there was a significant investment made, $2 million. I also have a proclamation proclaiming today as ‘Walmart Day’ throughout the county.
Ford also presented Warden with a flag and a proclamation from State Representative Trent Ashby. The state legislator was unable to attend the event because of the ongoing special session of the Texas Legislature.
The festivities next moved outside, where the Crockett Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the refurbishment. Chamber Membership Committee Chair Karen Huffman said, “On Behalf of the Crockett Area Chamber of Commerce, we would like to echo the sentiments of Mayor Mask and Judge Ford. We thank you for all that Walmart does for the community. It is a big part of Houston County and congratulations on your remodeling. We have the look of a big city store now!” she laughed.
Moving back inside the store for cake and punch, Warden was asked for her thoughts on the day’s events. “I am very, very excited and very happy to see the process come to a good conclusion. Next, we just need to push through and get our core shopping group back. I feel like we may have lost a few of our core shoppers during the remodel because it was such a transition. Now, we just have to get the building restocked and clean and move forward. I really would like to thank the community for being patient with us through this transition and I truly hope they appreciate their new, pretty store.”
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