I just got back from the new Fallston Walmart where manager Carolyn Davis gave me a sneak peek of the store scheduled to open for the first time at 8 a.m. March 16 and remain open 24 hours a day. Yes — for those of you who have been asking — it is a Supercenter. At 150,000 square feet, this Walmart at 303 Fallston Blvd., just off Bel Air Road/Route 1, (across from Bel Air Honda) is slightly smaller than some of its other Supercenters, but it will carry a full line of groceries.
Just to the right of the the right side entrance, it features a produce department with fresh fruits and vegetables backed by a deli featuring sliced meats, hot food and pre-made salads. It has 15 aisles of groceries along with a full bakery where you can order birthday cakes, breads, bagels and doughnuts. It has a fresh meats section, a full dairy department and aisles of frozen foods. I kept asking Davis, who took this position after working as manager of the White Marsh Walmart, how their prices would compare to other groceries and she kept answering me, “We’ll be the low price leader.” She said they would not have “club cards” like other area grocery stores, nor will they offer the hand-held scanners like Giant has at some of its stores. Instead, Davis said they aim to offer one-stop shopping for area families. Toward the back of the store, as you emerge from the grocery department, there is a pharmacy and just behind that you’ll find the baby food, pet food and cleaning supplies. It was part of their plan to keep the consumables together. “Everything is right here,” says Davis.
If you’re at Walmart to do more than grocery shop, you’ll find the fabric and sewing supplies along the back wall just to the left of the pet foods and supplies. Then you’ll see crafts and school supplies. Standing in the middle of the school supply aisle, with arms outstretched, I had room on either side, so, I imagine school supply shopping with carts and kids would be a bit easier to navigate here than at the Abingdon Walmart.
Just past school supplies, you’ll find movies and music, desktop and laptop computers, iPods, iPads, cellphones and Xbox, Wii and Playstation game systems. The back wall of the electronics department will feature their selection of flat screen televisions.
They offer three brands of paints: Glidden, Better Homes & Gardens and ColorPlace — which is Walmart’s brand. I hadn’t hear of it before, but Davis said she used it in her home and liked it. They also mix paints on site. They have a full line of hardware, automotive and sports equipment, but no guns. Those are at the Aberdeen store.
As you come around the left side of the store, you see the bikes and toys and then you get into the lawn and garden section which wraps around the front of the store. The store will open as planting season gets under way and they’ll have plants and mulch by the bag.
Party supplies, bedding, bath and apparel are all in the center of the store. Seasonal items will be found to the left of the left side entrance, by the lawn and garden department. Cosmetics will be near the right side entrance, across from the grocery department.
Between the left and right side doors stretch 25 check out registers, including eight express lines and 17 conveyor belts, but no self-checkouts. Davis says they have more registers than the Abingdon Walmart but fewer than the Aberdeen Walmart.
Along the front of the store, they have a Subway restaurant, a Vision Center and a Smart Style hair salon.
And outside, their parking lot is far easier to navigate than their lot at the Abingdon store. Since some readers asked, I did ask Davis whether there were plans to close the Abingdon location and she said no.
The Fallston Walmart is still hiring. They plan to hire 450 associates. They are getting close to having their positions filled, so if you are interested, you can apply at http://walmartstores.com/Careers/7745.aspx.