Fort Mill Times

WAL-MART: All that jazz, and at a low price

The Fort Mill High School Jazz Band plays in the produce section during the grand opening of the new Tega Cay Wal-Mart last Friday.
The Fort Mill High School Jazz Band plays in the produce section during the grand opening of the new Tega Cay Wal-Mart last Friday.

Thousands of people have already shopped in Tega Cay's new Wal-Mart supercenter since it opened last week.

"I think it's what we hoped for," Mayor Bob Runde said.

"From the outside it looks like Main Street USA, not the typical gray box. Inside it's functional, bright and thought out, everything they promised they seemed to deliver."

Runde hasn't bought anything from the store that opened Friday, March 7, but he toured it several times before opening day. He is proud of the work several city councils put in on the project, and said one of the best aspects of expanding Stonecrest for the Wal-Mart was getting a traffic light at Hwy. 160 West and Dam Road to help bus traffic.

One of Wal-Mart's foes, the former spokeswoman for opposition group Us Against the Wal, recently said she would probably shop at the new store, but it's not because she has changed her mind about Wal-Mart. Hope MacBride she's still not a fan. Rather, with schools now getting their funding from sales tax, MacBride wants to keep all her purchases inside South Carolina to help them.

"I went up there Saturday, it looks nice," she said. "I still want to see how it changes or doesn't change over time."

Some facts about the new store:

• Customers the first three days: Approximately 13,000

• Including offices and back stock areas, the new Tega Cay Wal-Mart supercenter covers 203,000-square feet. Approximately 40 percent of the floor space is devoted to groceries, the other 60 percent is designated for general merchandise.

• The store employs approximately 350 workers with an average wage of $10.77 per hour. It offers benefits including a 401(k) plan, healthcare insurance, a stock purchasing program and life insurance.

• Wal-Mart announced $18,000 in grants to local charity and non profit groups in conjunction with the grand opening.

• The supercenter will remain open 24 hours a day.

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