A newly relocated Walmart opened Wednesday, April 9 at 8 a.m., following a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony. The new store at 505 S. Pine Ridge Ave. is located at the intersection of Highway 51 and Highway 64 and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It will provide Merrill residents with one-stop shopping convenience for their grocery and general merchandise needs. The store is relocating from its previous location at 3500 E. Main St. The store also offers pharmacy services.
"We're excited for the grand opening of Merrill's new Walmart Supercenter," said Mayor Bill Bialecki. "Not only will residents have a variety of merchandise and fresh groceries options to choose from, but we’re also thrilled by the additional career opportunities the new Walmart will bring to our city.”
The store features general merchandise, including apparel, electronics, toys, sporting goods, and lawn and garden items. It also offers a full line of groceries, including organic and natural selections in addition to local favorites.
The pharmacy offers a full range of products and services. Pharmacy team members can answer product and prescription questions and customers can ask about health and wellness solutions.
The grand-opening celebration also included presentations of $5,000 in grants from Walmart to local community groups. Grant recipients include Merrill Public Library, Merrill Fire Department, Community Food Pantry, Ott’s Garage, Meals on Wheels and Afterschool Food Program.
In addition to the grants given as part of the grand opening, the new store will further Walmart’s pledge to fight hunger in America. As part of Walmart’s and the Walmart Foundation’s $2 billion commitment to fight hunger through 2015, Walmart stores in Wisconsin donated approximately 10.6 million pounds of food, in fiscal year 2013, or the equivalent of 8.8 million meals. Additionally, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation gave more than $20.5 million in fiscal year 2013 in Wisconsin alone. 
The newly relocated store employs approximately 200 full- and part-time associates, including approximately 85 new jobs created by the relocation. Store manager Matthew Colby began his Walmart career in 2005 as an assistant manager at the Wisconsin Rapids Walmart.
“This relocation will now allow us to better serve the Merrill community,” said Colby. “Our new store provides one-stop shopping convenience, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
Walmart will celebrate with residents on Saturday, April 12. “A Big Family Welcome” will give customers a chance to meet Colby and enjoy fun family activities such as face painting, cupcake decorating and free food samples while supplies last. The celebration will be held from noon to 3 p.m.
Walmart invites Merrill shoppers to share their in-store experience on Facebook and Twitter by using #MyNewWalmart. Visit the My Local Walmart Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/walmart1366. Fans of the local page can receive information about rollbacks, in-store events, meal solutions and more.