Walmart Neighborhood Market opening in St. Cloud this week

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The first Walmart Neighborhood Market is coming to St. Cloud.

“Walmart’s beginnings were in small towns, with the small stores bringing in everyday low prices to the customers. And that’s exactly what a neighborhood market represents,” said store manager Julie Ferreira.

Some residents like Julie Matos want to keep St. Cloud small. “I am from upstate New York and I like the country area and St. Cloud isn’t country enough for me, but I can look out my back window and fool myself,” Matos said. “[Having a Walmart here], it’s just going to bring in too much traffic.”

Others are very much looking forward to it.

Michael Schold, who is currently unemployed, lives in Stevens Plantation, a residential area right next door.

“That’s good. It’s always good to get local help. I am actually hoping to apply and get a job there myself since I can just walk there. Not have to waste time in the vehicle or anything,” Schold said.

This new Walmart on Nolte Road and Canoe Creek Road is bringing in nearly 100 jobs.

“Economically, we will have a huge impact on our local community,” said assistant manager Mary Gaston. “We hired 90 percent of our associates from the St. Cloud area. A lot of them live in the housing community that’s right around us.”

This Walmart Neighborhood Market is the first one in Central Florida to have a drive-thru pharmacy and gas station, all on site.

A couple of years ago Walmart increased their wages. Here in Florida, an average full-time employee now makes $ 13.51 an hour.

And with a few spots left to fill, Schold says he will be applying himself.

"Especially since everything is going up lately… So higher minimum wage means a better chance for people,” Schold added.

The grand opening for the Walmart Neighborhood Market is on Wednesday at 7:30 a.m.

Bay News 9 – business

April 12, 2016 |

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