Tonawanda News — A long-awaited Walmart Supercenter in North Tonawanda will open its doors to the public Aug. 15, months after members the corporation has originally planned.
Shelves have been partially stocked and roughly 300 employees have been hired in anticipation of the opening, which will launch at 8 a.m. at its location on Niagara Falls Boulevard.
The announcement comes more than a year after a groundbreaking ceremony, where officials from the company said the store would be up and running by April.
Construction delays have led to the holdup, though Walmart representatives say major steps have been taken to include novel elements in the building including a refreshed look and additional merchandise.
While city officials have lauded the presence of Walmart, stating that it will add to the tax revenue in supporting the area’s economy, local businesses have expressed fears that it will hurt their ventures, while residents living in the vicinity of the store say it will disrupt their quality of life and shave dollars off their property values.
A fence was recently added along the rear perimeter of the store after trash related to construction had piled up on their lawns and in their trees.
But despite the detractors, the multi-million project is finally coming to fruition after years of discussions, protests, lawsuits and planning.
Company representatives say the store will use a convenient layout, including keeping popular departments close together. For instance, a pharmacy will be located near a health and beauty section.
Chris Lazarou, the store manger who did not return repeated calls for comment, issued a statement saying the arrangements are part of a nationwide plan.
“The layout of the store is easy to navigate, which will save our customers time as they shop for everyday necessities,” he said. “By grouping the products that our customers most often purchase, including health and beauty and pet supplies, we are making one-stop shopping even easier.”
Other additions include lower shelving and more succinct directional signage and an energy efficient design.