In a little more than three weeks, a 148,000-square foot building has been transformed from a near-empty shell into a massive retailer almost ready for its customers.
Walmart will open a new store March 13 at the corner of Bruceville Road and Whitelock Parkway. During a tour this week, Store Manager Jorge Sabido marveled at the progress.
"I'm very proud of these associates," he said. "They've done an extraordinary amount of work."
Many shelves are half-full, and boxes of merchandise are stacked throughout the aisles.
The store still needs to hire 75 to 80 workers; in all, it will have 260 employees–half will be part-time and half will be full-time. Some are Sabido's neighbors.
Sabido has lived in Elk Grove for 11 years and worked for Walmart nearly 20 years. He started out as an overnight employee in Chico and most recently worked at a Supercenter in Orangevale.
The store is less than three miles from a parking lot on Elk Grove Boulevard with two separate Walmarts, and it will be open fewer hours, but Sabido thinks it will still attract customers.
"The appeal from the exterior is generating a lot of interest, even before the signs went up," he said. "There's a lot of excitement."
Sabido said the store will likely draw customers from the Franklin-Hood area, Wilton and Galt.
The Bruceville Road Walmart will also seek to differentiate itself by catering to some of its neighbors. It will have sections for Hispanic, Asian and Indian food, and will sell some livestock supplies like chicken scratch and horse feed.
It will also have garden and paint sections, as well as a craft and fabric department; Sabido said fabric departments are scarce among Walmarts and can be a draw.
"When I worked at [the Walmart in] Jackson, I had people come from as far as Modesto to get crafts fabric," he said.
But there are some items the store won't be selling. In approving the store, the Elk Grove City Council limited the amount of space it could dedicate to groceries to 10 percent of its floorspace. Sabido said the store won't have fresh meat, a produce "wet wall" or anything sold by weight.
Walmart originally sought to use a permit granted in 2008 for a Target at the same location, but had to put the project through public review that also resulted in limited hours and conditions on noise.
"We've really made an extreme effort to not go beyond those restrictions," Sabido said. "We always want to be a good neighbor."
The store will be open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays. Both of the stores on Elk Grove Boulevard are open 24 hours a day.
The store will hold a grand opening ceremony at 7:30 a.m. on March 13. It is located at 10075 Bruceville Road.