Eagle Point officially welcomed the only Wal-Mart Supercenter in Jackson County at a ribbon cutting ceremony Sept. 19 at 7:30 a.m.
"This has to be the prettiest, best Wal-Mart I’ve ever seen," said Pam Casey, marketing manager for the region. "The city has been wonderful. We are so appreciative of the warmth, it couldn’t have been any better."
Perhaps Casey’s statement summarizes a number of praises given by Wal-Mart to the community and city staff.
special thanks, you have been great to deal with," said Eagle Point
Mayor Leon Sherman as he welcomed the Supercenter and associates. "We
now have the first giant step forward in economic development," said
"You have your dollhouse," Manager Teresa Stoll
told her associates. "When we started we knew we would be a good
store. We didn’t want just a nice store, we wanted a great store. We
have it. We have our dollhouse, thanks to you."
managers, planning associates, and a number of others were briefly
introduced and then Teresa Stoll officially cut the ribbon with members
of the Eagle Point Chamber of Commerce assisting. And several hundred
started their tour through the 184,718 sq. ft. store.
Supercenter features a full line of groceries, a pharmacy, tire and
lube express, fun center, a hair salon and Subway. The parking lot has
been full each day leading some to say there isn’t enough parking,
although they exceed the number of required spaces. Hours are 7 a.m. to
11 p.m. as posted, at least to begin with. Originally there was
discussion that the center would be open 24-hours a day.
from area residents and from shoppers exclaim that once inside it
didn’t appear crowded because it is so large. Someone else told us it
was "scarey"-perhaps because of its size. One area merchant said a
customer pulled up to his business with a back seat full of Wal-Mart
bags, yet came to his Eagle Point business to make the purchases
normally made at that store. Others have said they will wait to go
inside until the newness wears off. Some said "made in China"
products stopped them from buying. But overall, people have expressed
enthusiasm and excitement for the expanded shopping opportunities.
business at Ray’s Market, just across the highway, appeared slower than
normal, that was anticipated. And according to one employee, it wasn’t
as slow as they thought it might be the first couple of days. Ray’s
has expanded their wine and organic food section and completely
re-organized everything but those products along the perimeter, which
includes produce, frozen, meat, dairy and bakery.
a warmth in our store. Our checkers know most of our customers by name
and many of our employees have been here for years," said Jeff Ewen,
manager of Ray’s Market in Eagle Point. He said with the alignment of
the store, they now have 120 ft. devoted to wine which is about six
times the space devoted to wine at Wal-Mart. Natural organic products
occupy another 24 ft. at Ray’s, which far exceeds the Supercenter, said
Ewen. "We are about service," said Ewen.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent