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.
“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.
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