Santa Fe Walmart Supercenter, years in the making, finally opens

From the Santa Fe New Mexican - by Sandra Baltazar MartÍnez - Workers inside the sprawling new Walmart Supercenter on Santa Fe's southwestern edge were busy as bees as they prepared for the Wednesday morning grand opening. Men and women, uniformed in blue and khaki, cleaned the glass doors, unpacked Christmas decorations in the garden center or packed freshly made bolillo rolls in the bakery section. A full grocery section that includes the bakery, fresh produce, and meat and poultry is one of the major differences between the Supercenter and the older Walmart farther up Cerrillos Road. "We try to cater to the community," store manager B.J. Ticho said Tuesday as he led a reporter through the 140,000-square-foot building decked out with bright blue counters and walls and spacious aisles. Catering in this case can mean having a big freezer that holds only Bueno tamales, chile and hominy. It can also refer to the frozen cow's stomach lining for a typical menudo breakfast, the piñatas brought in from an Artesia vendor, and other products popular with Hispanic shoppers, Ticho said. So far, Ticho is managing 301 employees, and he plans to keep hiring until he reaches about 325. After years of controversy over development issues and whether another big-box chain outlet should be welcomed into the community, the Supercenter will open to the public with fanfare. Read more


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