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Wal-Mart gets makeover
Remodeling overway at retailer
walmart RECESS by Ch1D7003
Michelle Clark, left, and Terri Stinson work on a mural outside of Recess! by Charley, a new short-term child care facility that is opening inside the Wal-Mart. - photo by Jim Dean (previous profile)
It may be one of the original businesses along Market Place Boulevard, but Wal-Mart will have a brand-new look by Aug. 13.

From interior and exterior painting to shelving and tiling, every department in the Cumming Wal-Mart is being updated.

“The store will be completely retiled and then there will be some department category changes as far as how we currently layout the departments,” said Mike Caspar, regional market manager. “They will be changed to be ... more convenient to the shopper.”

The Market Place location is one of about 150 Wal-Marts in the Southeast that will be remodeled this year. Stores in Buford and Alpharetta have undergone changes.

During the next three years, about half of the 736 stores in the Southeast will be updated.

Caspar said the local store will be repainted with different colors to reflect new branding.

“The store is going to appear much brighter and more open and inviting to the customer,” he said.

While the store is receiving the same upgrades as dozens of others, the Market Place location will be unique in one major way.

Recess! by Charley, which opened nearly two years ago in Windermere, will open its second location in the Wal-Mart.

The by-the-hour child care service has quickly become a destination for parents who need just a few hours without their children.

The Wal-Mart location will provide that on a smaller scale, said owner Tim Clark.

“The idea is that we’re trying to do something specifically for Wal-Mart customers,” Clark said. “... It’s all about enhancing their Wal-Mart experience.”

Children ages six weeks to 12 years are welcome to Recess! by Charley, which will offer games, toys, movies and video games.

The cost to parents is based on 10- and 30-minute increments, totaling about $7 an hour for one child, and $5 for each additional child. The service is available only for Wal-Mart customers.

“It’s going to be something new and exciting that we’re incorporating into this [remodel],” Caspar said. “It’s the first one of its kind.”
Recess! by Charley is slated to open next week, though construction throughout Wal-Mart will continue until the Aug. 13 grand reopening.

The retailer will not close, Caspar said, and most of the heavy lifting will be done between midnight and 6 a.m. to reduce any distraction to shoppers.

“Any time you take on a project of this magnitude, there’s going to be some degree for disruption,” he said. “We’re going to work very diligently to keep that at a minimum.”

The layout for the store will also be changed to increase convenience, Caspar said. For example, health, beauty and cosmetics items will be closer to the grocery section.

“Shoppers tell us that when they’re in the store shopping for groceries, they don’t want to go all the way across the store to get their toothpaste,” he said.

“It may take some getting used to, but I think customers are going to find the layout is going to be much easier to navigate.”