0

Morrow Wal-Mart becomes more female-friendly

By Joel Hall

jhall@news-daily.com

After months of shifting, rebuilding, and renovating, the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Morrow will reveal the fruits of its labor.

Today, starting at 8 a.m., Wal-Mart will host a grand re-opening of its store on Jonesboro Road.

Twenty-year associates of the store will participate in a ribbon-cutting with entertainment provided by the Clayton State University cheerleading squad and the Morrow High School Reserves Officers' Training Corps (ROTC).

Shoppers will have a chance to see the efforts to which Wal-Mart has gone to make the store easier to navigate and use, including wider aisles, lowered shelving, a more open pharmacy, and an expanded electronics section.

Dan Fagan, manager of the Morrow Wal-Mart, said the store has gone to great lengths to cater more to its female shoppers. The store has identified them as the core of its customer base.

"The entire store has been remodeled from top to bottom," said Fagan. "Our average customer here is female, so it is much easier for her to navigate the store and find what she needs," he added.

Fagan said the average woman is a few inches shorter than a man, so the entire store's profile has been lowered to bring products and advertising closer to the average woman's line of sight. He said the fixtures and signage of the store also have been replaced to make items easier to find.

Daniel Morales, a spokesperson for Wal-Mart stores in the Southeast, would not discuss the cost of the renovations, but said they are the result of customer research.

"We've really taken a hard look at who shops in our stores," said Morales. "One of the things that we've seen is that this store is heavily shopped by female shoppers. We want to make sure the store flows to their needs and shopping patterns.

"That line of sight is very important," said Morales. "We want to make sure that we have that open feeling in our stores, and that they can see all the way back."

Fagan said that in addition to new signage, the store has added a larger home furnishings section, high-efficiency toilets, urinals, and sinks, and "strategically placed" benches around the store to accommodate elderly shoppers.

"Generally, we just made the store less cluttered," said Fagan. "The grand re-opening is a signal to a customer that the inconvenience we put them through [during] the remodel ... that it's over with. They can get back to shopping as normal."