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New Johnson City Wal-Mart set to open Jan. 22

JEFF KEELING • Jan 9, 2007 at 7:15 AM

JOHNSON CITY - The newest Wal-Mart in the Tri-Cities will bring approximately 400 jobs to Johnson City when a Supercenter opens its doors on West Market Street on Jan. 22. Employees will work under a manager who started her career as an hourly worker at Johnson City's first Wal-Mart store.

Despite the existence of a Wal-Mart Supercenter in nearby north Johnson City, a company spokeswoman cited customer demand as a primary motivation for the company's decision.

"Wal-Mart certainly puts a lot of thought and planning into its decisions to open new stores," Marisa Bluestone said. "When you're pulling from customers on the edge of town, it certainly makes a difference (in demand)."

Bluestone said more than 2,000 people have applied for positions at the new store, which is located at 2915 W. Market St. The new employees will be under the management of Emily Bowman, who started with the company in 1987 when it opened a store on North Roan Street in a building now occupied by Cingular Wireless.

The new store will open at 8 a.m. after a 7:30 a.m. ribbon cutting, but Bluestone was coy about what specific features will be associated with this Supercenter beyond the customary supermarket and general merchandise.

Supercenters also can include a range of specialty shops such as vision centers, tire and oil change centers, restaurants, portrait studios and one-hour photo centers, hair salons, banks, and employment agencies.

The new store is not the corporation's only recent foray into the Johnson City market. A Sam's Club store is slated to open later this year off of Interstate 26's Exit 36.

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