Walmart is continuing to grow in Baltimore, opening its newest store Wednesday in Randallstown and planning to unveil an expansion of its Ellicott City store later this month.
The retailer has hired 300 workers to staff the 150,000-square foot Randallstown location, at 8730 Liberty Road, which will offer a full line of groceries, including a bakery, a deli, meat and dairy products and a produce department. Subway restaurant and SmartStyle Family Hair Salon are leasing space in the 24-hour-a-day location.
Other departments include a pharmacy, one-hour photo lab, vision center, garden center and expanded electronics department. And at the new store, like at all Walmarts, customers who shop online can get free shipping or pay for their purchases with cash if they have the items shipped to the store to pick up.
For the grand opening, store managers are planning product samplings, Coca-Cola giveaways and other promotions.
The Ellicott City Walmart, which will expand by 22,000 square feet to 150,000 square feet, will celebrate a grand opening on Oct. 26. The 3200 N. Ridge Road store has added 85 new jobs, bringing the employee count to 300 people. The store will offer groceries as well and include a McDonald's.
The discounter also is opening a new, 24-hour store on the Eastern Shore Oct. 26. That 149,000-square-foot location, at 610 Legion Road in Denton, will employ 300 people and offer features similar to the Randallstown store, including groceries, a Subway and a hair salon. The store will open at 7 a.m. on the 26th.
The Bentonville, Ark., retailer also is proposing a new store in Bel Air, off Route 924. Those plans have proved controversial, sparking community opposition and prompting the Harford County Council to ask the State Highway Administration to deny road access to the site.
Walmart, with $444 billion annual sales, marks its 50th year in business this year with more than 10,000 locations under 69 different banners worldwide.
Along with new store openings, the retailer said it's taking steps through its "healthier food initiative" to make lower cost food products healthier and bring stores to underserved neighborhoods. The company plans to reduce sodium and added sugars and remove industrially produced trans fats in thousands of packaged food products by 2015, and offer specials on fresh produce.