Friday, October 19, 2012
Rupertites line up to view the new Walmart
With a line stretching through the parking lot in the early morning darkness, Rupertites waited for their opportunity to enter the doors of one of the world's most recognizable corporate names.
Taking over the space from the departed Zellers chain, Walmart embarked on an ambitious renovation project, revitalizing the spirits of the shopping class of the city, while providing for a boost to the Rupert Square Mall, which had suffered a number of closures over the last few years.
Ever since it was officially announced that Walmart was destined for Prince Rupert, local residents have been looking forward to its arrival with anticipation for today's opening. Watching with interest as workers moved in and out of the Rupert Square to make the new location ready for shoppers.
The Prince Rupert version, while smaller than some of the larger stores of North America, including the one in Terrace, will serve to fill in the hole in the local commercial scene created by the Zellers departure of earlier this year and perhaps keep a few of those cars from making the trek to Terrace every Saturday.
A number of dignitaries attended the official opening today, which offered up the chance for a number of speeches from local officials and corporate managers alike.
The Mayor made the most of his appearance at the official opening, congratulating the company on its choice to locate in the city and create jobs, while making mention of Walmart joining the list of businesses that have opened in the last year and half.
One imagines that the arrival of Walmart, was perhaps a little more anticipated than most of the rest of the Mayors list.
In some communities the arrival of a Walmart is at times greeted with a sense of trepidation, heralding the potential decline of other local business options. However, in Rupert, as a quick scan of Third Avenue would testify to, that process seemingly has long been in motion prior to the chains arrival.
Perhaps that is why the bright yellow and blue signs on the side of the Rupert Square have been welcomed by so many today.
For a good number of Rupertites, beyond the placement of a recognized chain store and a new shopping option in the city, Walmart's arrival perhaps for some is a sign of confidence in a community which has already seen its commercial class depleted through the last ten years.
CFTK TV 7 -- Rupert Walmart (video)
The Northern View-- Prince Rupert Walmart holds opening grand ceremony