Walmart opens Arlington store

SMOKEY POINT — The new Arlington Walmart store rolled out a two-tiered greeting to the community Oct. 26-27, by dispensing a number of grants to community organizations and giving a select number of community members a sneak preview of its selection and layout on the evening of Oct. 26, before its official grand opening on the morning of Oct. 27.

Arlington Walmart Store Manager Leon White said the new store at 4010 172nd St. NE will employ approximately 350 associates, 290 of them new hires to the company, and represents the culmination of eight years of planning by the Walmart corporation. Assistant Store Manager Heidi Shellenberger then dispensed oversized checks to a host of local and regional nonprofit agencies, including $25,000 to the Cascade Valley Hospital for emergency ultrasound services and $75,000 to Senior Services of Snohomish County for kitchen equipment in the Center for Healthy Aging.

Arlington City Council member Steve Baker joined White in cutting the ceremonial ribbon shortly after 8 a.m. on Oct. 27, but several of the Arlington Walmart’s first shoppers had been camping out well before then.

“We showed up at 6 a.m. because we thought they were opening at 7 a.m.,” said Arlington resident Kimberly Kantz, who was joined by daughter Chantel McAdams. “We live right up 172nd Street, so especially since I only get 13 miles to the gallon, it’s much more convenient.”

Kantz has already encouraged McAdams to apply for a job at the store’s nail and hair salon. While Kantz aimed to finish her Christmas shopping, McAdams hoped to stock up on much-needed winter clothes.

“I’m glad they’ve got a Subway instead of a McDonald’s,” McAdams laughed, echoing a refrain of a number of other shoppers.

“It looks so classy,” said Kayla Calobeerup, who conducts community relations for the Arlington High School DECA program, which received a $2,000 grant from Walmart. “I’m usually at Target everyday, but this is so close to my house. I’m so excited about their donation, because it’s going to help a lot of kids go on trips with our group that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.”

Everett’s Kami Sears and Stanwood’s Nancy Moyes browsed through the DVDs and electronic aisles to see if they could find any first-day bargains, while Arlington’s Jesse Queen expressed an appreciation for the store’s current lack of crowds.

“Hey, they’ve got a Terry Funk [professional wresting] action figure,” Jaymie Shah said to fellow Marysville resident Philip Arp, as they browsed the toy aisles. “Man, that takes me back. This is a really nice store. I like the way it’s set up. It’s spacious. We got here right at 8 a.m., most for grocery stuff, but we’ve been browsing since. Anything you like, you can get here. And I’m getting this Terry Funk figure. This is fantastic.”

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