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Everything is a first today at the Neighborhood Market

Walmart makes Greer its signature store in South Carolina

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Wednesday, February 20, 2013

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Betty Witthuhn, left, and Mary Leonard arrived at 7 a.m. to be first in line when the Walmart Neighborhood Market opened an hour later.

Jim Fair

Betty Witthuhn, left, and Mary Leonard arrived at 7 a.m. to be first in line when the Walmart Neighborhood Market opened an hour later.



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Bridget Young was the first customer to make a purchase at the Greer store. Appropriately, Young is from Greer.

Jim Fair

Bridget Young was the first customer to make a purchase at the Greer store. Appropriately, Young is from Greer.



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Store Manager Kirsten Tucker was all smiles this morning as she welcomed customers to South Carolina's first Walmart Neighborhood Market.

Jim Fair

Store Manager Kirsten Tucker was all smiles this morning as she welcomed customers to South Carolina's first Walmart Neighborhood Market.



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The parking lot, at 4 p.m., at Greer Plaza in front of the Neighborhood Market shows a steady stream of shoppers that have been accumulating since before noon.

Jim Fair

The parking lot, at 4 p.m., at Greer Plaza in front of the Neighborhood Market shows a steady stream of shoppers that have been accumulating since before noon.



Greer’s Walmart Neighborhood Market will set a sales record today.  And tomorrow, the next day and every day until the next branded grocery store comes to South Carolina to take its shot at Greer’s opening day sales.

Mayor Rick Danner, speaking on behalf of Greer, welcomed the Neighborhood Market to Greer and its initial sojourn into the state. The traditional ribbon cutting gave way to the first customers to enter the store at 8 a.m. Many had waited since 7 a.m. in temperatures in the mid-20s for the doors to open.

A host of Walmart district and regional supervisors and managers from stores throughout the state came to Greer to celebrate the historic opening. Distributors and vendors flooded the store to make sure their products would not find an empty shelf.

Danner’s comments were pointed in praising the nation’s No. 1 grocery chain in selecting Greer to plant its footprint. “This is about adaptability. If you are in business today you have to be able to adapt,” Danner said.

“Walmart’s concept is right on. It took an existing building and adapted it. That is good. They are helping to revitalize the area (Wade Hampton Blvd. corridor). And it shows others how it is done and how it can be done.”

Kevin Clinton, Market Manager for Walmart Stores, said, “We know the traffic is heavy in this corridor and believe this is a great place to put our footprint. Once customers get into the store they find out it’s not the way they believed it was portrayed.”

Teresa Stone, of Greer, said as much. “I’m not a Walmart fan. I came here to check it out and I definitely will be back.”

All the firsts registered today will last in perpetuity in South Carolina.

The rest of the chain’s grocery stores coming to South Carolina? Their firsts will be officially second.

Among the memorable firsts today:

Profit – Allen Smith, President/CEO of the Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce, gave the ceremonial framed first dollar to the store’s first manager, Kristin Tucker, at the traditional ribbon cutting.

Customers – Betty Witthuhn and Mary Leonard were the first customers to enter the store, side by side. They arrived at 7 a.m. to witness their first ribbon cutting ceremony but were told to wait outside. “We’ve never seen a ribbon cutting and came early so we could watch,” Witthuhn said. “They told us we could watch through the window.” Witthuhn and Leonard were unable to see because of people surrounding the ceremony.

Sale – Bridget Young of Greer was the first person to make a purchase. She bought milk, juice and turkey slices for her husband’s, Joseph, sandwiches. She paid cash for the $13.65 total and received 35 cents in change. “I wasn’t planning to be here but it’s closer to where I work and where my girls go to school,” Young said.

* Disqualified – We declared Charity Maddox ineligible for designation of first sale when she purchased a pack of gum. Walmart in Laurens employs Maddox. “I had been drinking coffee all morning and wanted some gum,” she said with a laugh. “I wasn’t trying to make the first sale.”

By the numbers:

#4145 – Store number.

805 – address on West Wade Hampton Blvd.

864-655-6422 – Phone number.

8 a.m. – 10 p.m. – Store hours every day.

Follow the history of Greer's Walmart Neighborhood Market.

You're invited to a party

• Game plan for stocking Market

• Grand opening

 • Job Fair

• Opening in sight, jobs posted

• Commercial upfit filed

• Plaza getting facelift

 Neighborhood Market in construction phrase

• Greer gets state's first Neighborhood Market

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