NEW ORLEANS, La. – Wednesday is a day residents in New Orleans East have long been waiting for as a new Walmart Supercenter is finally opening its doors to the community.
A store opening is not usually this big of a deal, but the people in the area have not had a full service neighborhood grocery since before Hurricane Katrina.
The new facility will provide more than 300 jobs to New Orleans and will have an impact on business growth in the area.
The store takes over the site of the former Lakeland Medical Center.
Walmart had a very aggressive hiring campaign since earlier this year as it looked to fill hundreds of positions.
When a Walmart store opens in a community, businesses tend to flock to the area, raising retail businesses in the community. A study was done on Walmart stores in California and it showed the total retail business permits in California communities with a Walmart store, increased by an average of nearly 50 percent after the opening of those stores.
For those communities that didn't have a store, there was only a 20 percent increase in retail business permits.
Walmart says it pays workers an average of $12.81 an hour, although that figure does not include part-time workers.
The last Walmart associates to leave the former New Orleans East Walmart during Hurricane Katrina will be the first associates to open the new store.
The grand opening ceremony took place at 7a.m. Wednesday with the doors officially opening at the new store on Bullard at 8 a.m. Wednesday.