Bethany Clough

Fresno’s biggest Walmart is opening. Here are 10 things to know about it

The newest Walmart Supercenter in Fresno opens Wednesday – and it’s huge.

At 194,000 square feet, it’s the biggest Walmart in the Fresno area.

The store opens at 7 a.m. Wednesday at 4080 W. Shaw Ave. near Brawley Avenue. A ribbon-cutting ceremony starts at 8 a.m.

Technically, the new store is a move. An existing Walmart, a stone’s throw away on Shaw Avenue, closes Tuesday night. It’s not clear yet what will happen to the that building. Walmart does not own the property.

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Jackson Foreman sleeps in a cart pushed by his mom, Annie Foreman, who runs The Real Housewife of Fresno blog, in a sneak peek at the new Walmart Supercenter. JOHN WALKER jwalker@fresnobee.com

Walmart bought the building on the other side of Brawley Avenue – less than a block away – that used to be Camp America and, ages ago, a Super Kmart. It spent three months renovating the building to turn it into a Walmart Supercenter.

The new store is 78,000 square feet bigger than the previous store, said store manager Valentino “Tino” Alonzo.

The extra space means the store added new departments and expanded existing ones. Here’s what’s new, different or interesting about the new store:

1. It has a spa called SEVA Beauty. Just inside the front door, the spa offers services for eyebrows, eyelashes, skin and makeup. (Three other area Walmarts also have them.)

2. Although its 194,000 square feet in size makes it bigger than other Walmart stores in Fresno, Clovis and Visalia, it’s not the biggest around. Lodi has one that’s bigger at 214,000 square feet, Alonzo said.

3. The increase in size means Walmart needed more employees. It has already hired 120 additional workers and expects to hire about 40 or 50 more, he said.

4. The grocery department is the biggest change between the old store and the new. Before, the store had six aisles of groceries. Now it has a full grocery store.

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Just in time for Halloween, Johnny Her puts out pumpkins at the new Walmart Supercenter at Shaw and Brawley, Tuesday morning, Oct. 23, 2018. JOHN WALKER jwalker@fresnobee.com

That includes a new full-service deli selling sliced meat and cheese by the pound, a bakery making custom cakes and fresh bread, and a prepared foods section selling rotisserie chicken and salads.

It also added a Jamaican food section and expanded its gluten-free and Hispanic food options.

5. The new store will have a restaurant of some kind in it, but they haven’t determined what yet. Many Walmarts have McDonald’s inside, though a Dunkin’ Donuts opened inside the Madera Walmart in May.

6. The majority of the 47 cash register stations are the kind where customers scan their own purchases. Some of the 35 “scan and go” registers are the traditional ones with a small counter space that shoppers are familiar with from other stores. And other self-service stations are larger with belts, designed for customers who have a full shopping cart, but can still scan their own items.

The store has 12 registers operated by employees.

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Next to a shelf of realistic dolls, Christian Rivera works in the toy section of the new Walmart Supercenter at Shaw and Brawley, Tuesday morning, Oct. 23, 2018. JOHN WALKER jwalker@fresnobee.com

7. The toy section is the largest of any Walmarts in the Central Valley, store manager Alonzo said. Knowing that nearby Toys R Us had recently closed (and is becoming a new style of Big Lots store), Walmart made this store’s toy section extra large.

8. One thing that didn’t move to the new location is the tire and lube service center. The store still sells automotive goods, but won’t be doing oil changes or putting new tires on cars. The center’s 12 workers found different positions in the company or transferred to other auto centers.

9. The new store is one of handful in town to offer Walmart’s same-day grocery pickup service. That’s where customers order groceries online and employees deliver the groceries to a designated parking space. Shoppers don’t have to leave their cars.

Like other stores, shoppers can also order non-grocery products (like laundry detergent or toys) online and pick them up in the store the same day.

10. Even though it’s a Supercenter, it won’t be open 24 hours. It will keep its 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily hours.

Bethany Clough: 559-441-6431, @BethanyClough
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