PICKENS—Need a Wal-Mart closer to home? You’re wait may just be over.
A new Wal-Mart located just off Highway 8 behind Blue Ridge Auto Repair opened its doors for the first time Wednesday morning, and the excitement is building.
“In the past, when I’ve needed to go to Wal-Mart, My wife and I would have to get in the car and make the trip down to Easley,” Pickens Mayor David Owens said. “I’m happy that isn’t the case anymore.”
The new facility brings 200 new jobs in Pickens, and Owens said you could not ask for much more.
“This is 200 jobs. This Wal-Mart keeps the dollars here in Pickens, and our people in jobs,” Owens said. “This is a great day for Pickens and we’re excited. When you shop Wal-Mart in Pickens, you’re going to stay in Pickens. You’re going buy gas here, you’re going to eat here and I think this we’ll bring people from all over Pickens County here as well.”
Store Manager Chris Lee said he and his staff are excited for the new opportunity.
“We’re excited to be here. We’re the third of five projects in the upstate so it’s definitely exciting,” Lee said. “It’s an opportunity for customers to save money and live better. They don’t have to drive to Easley, Seneca or Clemson. They can come here.”
Lee said this will be a great opportunity for more than 150 people.
“For associates, it’s a brand new opportunity to work their way up in the company through these new jobs,” Lee said. “I’m a product of that. Almost 23 years ago, I started off as an hourly associate and worked my way up to be a store manager so the possibilities are endless. There are opportunities for everybody.”
Lee said the hard work in preparing for the opening is finally paying off.
“This shows Wal-Mart’s commitment to bringing new jobs,” Lee said. “To be able to make an impact in a small town like the City of Pickens is pretty amazing. We hired 150 people brand new off the street. Now they are getting to show what they’ve been working so hard for these past several weeks.”
You can follow the new store on facebook at “Wal-Mart 3191” where store officials will post updates and events in the coming days.