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Walmart Market Opening Leads to Booming Business

Since the announcement of a Walmart Neighborhood Market coming to Lawrenceville, several new businesses have moved into the once struggling Bethesda Walk shopping center.

When Jamel Jackson learned a , he saw a great business opportunity. Jackson already had a Bigg Headz Barbershop open on Old Norcross Rd. at the Sugarloaf Village Shopping Center and thought this was the perfect time to open a second location.

“I always wanted a shop next to a Walmart,” said Jackson. He opened the shop in the Bethesda Walk plaza on May 5th, about six weeks before grocery store only version of Walmart had its grand opening.

“I’ve never seen a Walmart close,” said Jackson. “It’s like the best company in the world. They have high volume traffic. I thought it would be a great opportunity.”

After the Publix closed in February 2009, the anchor store at the Lawrenceville Highway shopping center sat empty—as did much of the plaza’s parking lot—for more than two years. Restaurants like , and survived without a major store in the plaza, but a number of businesses were forced to close up shop.

When DLC Property Management announced in December 2011 a Walmart Neighborhood Market was moving in, the occupancy rate grew.

“We filled a number of vacancies when they [business owners] knew Walmart was signed,” said Christen Conforti, Marketing Manager for DLC. They are now at 95 percent occupancy, up from the 83.6 percent from before the grocery store opened in June.

Since , a beauty supply store and dry cleaner have moved in on the same side as Bigg Headz. There are now just two empty units in the entire plaza.

Jackson said he’s getting more business now that the grocery store is open. It was slow going when the barbershop opened in May, but profits are on the rise since Walmart opened at the end of June. “Customers are picking up. We’re continuing to grow,” said Jackson.

The second Walmart Neighborhood Market in Metro Atlanta will . Last week, Walmart also . That location is planned to open next summer.

What do you think about how Walmart is affecting local businesses? Tell us in the comment section below.

Sharon Skellie August 29, 2012 at 02:01 PM
I'm a regular at the neighborhood market. Easier to get in and out of plus the prices are great. Just wish they had a deli.
Vanzetta Evans August 29, 2012 at 03:22 PM
I heard that comment about a deli as well from another reader Sharon. I guess Walmart had some numbers about the use of the deli that made them decide not to put one in the market.
Michael Woodward August 30, 2012 at 03:34 AM
I live across the street and the convenience of Publix was the deciding factor about moving into the neighborhood. It was a sad day when they left. I especially miss the bakery, the deli with the fresh sliced meats and the deliciousness of the cooked food. When I heard Wal-Mart was coming I was looking forward to their deli and convenient cooked food section. However, I was sadly disappointed when they did not have one on opening day. #disapointedcustomer.

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