BENSON — Walmart hosted the grand reopening of its newly remodeled Benson store Friday morning.
Customers, store associates and department team leaders gathered in front of Walmart for the singing of the national anthem by Lisi Harris and a brief presentation by store manager Scott Olson.
The remodel, which started in August, includes highly polished concrete floors that set the store off when customers first step inside. New signage, a balance of self-checkouts and staff registers, remodeled restrooms and a new mother’s room are other upgrades Olson highlighted.
An expansion to the pharmacy is another improvement.
“The expansion actually pushed our remodel date back in order to allow time to reconfigure the pharmacy,” Olson said.
“An online grocery pickup is another new addition that will be coming. We’re talking to the teams and are expecting to have the grocery pickup around Dec. 17.”
The ceremony also included check presentations to the following four nonprofits: the National Wild Turkey Federation, Benson Salvation Army, Benson Shop With a Cop and the Community Food Pantry of Benson.
Kierstin Kessler of the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office serves as the Benson Shop With A Cop executive director.
“Walmart gave our program $2,500,” said Kessler, who has been involved with the nonprofit since 2015.
The Community Food Pantry of Benson received $3,750 in support of its weekly food distribution program and other projects. Pantry board president Najayyah Many Horses and secretary Pat Meyers were on hand for the check presentation.
“Scott (Olson) is our Christmas angel,” Many Horses said of the donation. “We’ll be using this money for our holiday distribution. It’s greatly appreciated.”
The remodel started in August and took about 12 weeks to complete, said Olson, who thanked the community and Walmart staff for their support while the project was underway.
“Customers, I appreciate your patience and willingness to work with us through that whole remodel process,” he said. “It has not been easy for you guys. I know we moved almost everything in the store.”
Vendor partners, the construction teams and staff were thanked by Olson for their efforts during the remodel.
“I couldn’t ask for a better team effort when I needed to get things done inside the store,” he said. “Right from the start, you guys set the tone for the way things were done.”