Walmart holds grand re-opening, awards grants to local organizations

The St. Marys Walmart held its grand re-opening celebration Friday following a store redesign. A ribbon-cutting was held, and store associates presented $4,500 in grants from the Walmart Foundation to six local organizations: $250 for the Elk County Lions Club; $1,000 for the Fox Township Recreation Board; $1,000 to Keystone Elk Country Alliance; $1,000 to Mt. Zion Historical Society; $1,000 for Project Gifts for Elk County; and $250 to the Ridgway Area High School Yearbook Club.The culmination of the two-month renovation is expected to improve customer experience and allow the store to expand some of its departments to offer additional items. Improvements include a new layout and flooring, wider aisles, new interior paint scheme, enhanced lighting and easy-to-read signage. Additionally, the Site-to-Store pick-up location and photo lab have been combined into a single area at the rear of the store. Store manager Randy Cole expressed both joy and relief that the renovation project was finished. "We made it. It's done. It's over. I think the store is very beautiful. I like it. I do," Cole said. "The branding is beautiful. The signage is beautiful. I believe it's going to be much easier to shop." He acknowledged the public and store employees for their patience during the renovation and welcomed the public, local and state elected officials and the St. Marys Area Chamber of Commerce to the event.