Winchester Walmart hosts grand re-opening

Published 1:27 pm Thursday, April 27, 2023

For over forty years, beginning in 1981, Winchester has had a Walmart for locals to shop at.

Last Friday, following some changes, a grand re-opening was celebrated.

Dozens of individuals gathered at the store’s location along Bypass Road to recognize such an occasion.

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“We wanted to take a moment and just celebrate that with them, [the] community, and the associates,” said Rob Felder, a Market Manager for eleven Walmart stores, including Winchester’s. “They’ve got a lot to be proud of.”

Starting Jan. 15 this year, the Walmart in Winchester saw various changes.

The OPD, or online pickup and delivery location, has moved to the opposite side of the building where it is estimated to be approximately five times as large as it currently is. As a result, that side of the business can grow for the benefit of customers by enhancing the online ordering experience.

Brand-new restrooms are featured in the front and back of the building. This will include a family restroom and a mother’s room.

New directional signing will make it simpler for customers to find where products are located.

Tiling has also been removed and replaced with VCT tile replacement.

“We just updated every single department in the building in some form or another,” said Shannon Willougby, the Store Manager. “I’m so grateful for all the customers that have been patient.”

To begin the ceremony, Rolling Thunder Inc. KY5 – a charity organization dedicated to supporting military veterans and bringing all POW and MIA status service members home to their families – appeared.

As they led the opening, many people held American flags in solidarity.

After an opening prayer, Winchester-Clark County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Cindy Banks spoke, followed by Mayor JoEllen Reed.

“You have always rendered service to Winchester,” said Reed. “Your actions have enriched our community and served as an example to all.”

According to Reed, Walmart has assisted the community by partnering in free community grants, services alongside the Salvation Army, and more.

Walmart continued to be charitable at the event by delivering a $2500 check to the Alexis Thompson Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping children in Clark County.

State Representative Ryan Dotson, also present at the event, referred to Walmart founder Sam Walton.

“To hear the prayer that was so eloquently prayed [and] to see the flags standing in Walmart is a great representation of who Sam Walton really was,” he said. “Walmart has a very special place in communities all across the nation.”

To the surprise of many, associates and team leaders throughout the store were honored as Kentucky Colonels.

Another individual, Team Leader Mike Cassidy, spoke at the event.

An employee of nearly 26 years who is one week shy of retirement, Cassidy reflected on his time as his work nears an end.

“This has been an amazing place and an amazing crew to work with,” Cassidy said. “We spend more time with these people here. I’m deeply going to miss my ‘family.’”

Once the ceremony ended, opportunities were in high supply for others to continue celebrating.

Just outside the doors, various brands and vendors, including Ale-8, Mama D’s Eat and Treats, Monster Energy, Takis and Pepsi, were present to greet and treat customers.

By day’s end, it was clear that the grand re-opening offered plenty of reason for optimism.

“We couldn’t do it without the support of all of our great associates here, along with the support of visiting associates from other markets,” said Bob Gound, Market Human Resources Manager for Walmart. “I just want to thank the community and the city of Winchester for everything that they’ve done over the years to support Walmart.”