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Local

Batavia Walmart completes long-awaited expansion

BATAVIA – Shoppers will be able to buy even more at the newly expanded Walmart at 801 N. Randall Road in Batavia starting Wednesday, as the store's long-awaited grocery department opens for business.

"Ever since I've been here, people have asked me about when we were going to be a Supercenter," store manager Mike Morrison said. "They've asked for it, and now they've got it."

A grand re-opening of the Batavia Walmart is set for 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, starting with a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony. Morrison has been the store's manger for five years.

The expansion adds approximately 30,000 square feet to the store and a full grocery department, including fresh produce, prepared foods, a deli, bakery, dry goods and more. The Batavia Walmart is also now open 24 hours a day.

"The new Walmart Supercenter will give the city of Batavia an economic shot in the arm by generating tax revenue and creating good-paying jobs," Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke said in a statement. "Residents will also benefit by gaining greater access to affordable goods and nutritious groceries."

The store's expansion created about 150 additional jobs, Morrison said. The store employs about 300 full- and part-time associates, he said.

Company officials have been planning to expand the store since it opened in October 2005. The expansion project began last fall and took 10 months.

SmartStyle Family Hair Salon, which is in the newly expanded Walmart, also will have its grand opening Wednesday. As part of its grand opening, the salon will offer $6.99 haircuts from Wednesday, through Sunday, and $9.99 haircuts from Monday through Sept. 27.

Batavia Walmart will hold grand opening activities from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, including face painting, cupcake decorating and free food samples.

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