KEYSER - Keyser Walmart Supecenter is one of nearly 400 such stores within the past several years which have undergone a renovation project, and a grand re-opening celebration for management, employees, and customers took place on Friday morning.

By Jean Braithwaite
Tribune Correspondent
KEYSER - Keyser Walmart Supecenter is one of nearly 400 such stores within the past several years which have undergone a renovation project, and a grand re-opening celebration for management, employees, and customers took place on Friday morning.
Kris High, a Keyser High School senior, opened the program by singing the “Star Spangles Banner,” and to add to the enthusiasm, store employees chanted in unison the words, “This is my Walmart,” while also giving words to promote safety among the store’s workers.
Local store manager Gary Smith, who has held that position for 1 1/2 years, said that it is typical for Walmart to remodel individual stores about every six to seven years.
He said, “The entire store was refurbished,” and included the installation of new flooring and enlarging the bakery section.
Smith pointed to a large tower situated at the front of the grocery side of the Keyser store, and said, “This is where those who order online merchandise will pick up their packages.”
He added that with entering a code number into the tower mechanism, the expected package will slide down a shoot and be received by the customer within seconds.
Smith issued a thank you to the employees, now numbering close to 300, for their work on making the remodeling of the Keyser Walmart a success.
He anticipates the completed refurbishing project will make for “better sales and happier customers.”
Dawn Fuller, who has worked for Walmart for over 17 years and now serves as assistant manager, said the refurbishing project “will help keep us competitive and will boost the morale of the employees.”
Jerry Jolliff, Walmart home office market manager, said the remolding project began on Dec, 7, 2017, with a conversation with local management employees on, “What will happen to this store.”
With his hand, he motioned around and said, “Now look what happened, there is a night and day difference.”
Jolliff said that because of the “good teams that worked together,” the remodeling work is completed, while saying to the Keyser Walmart employees, “You are family.”
Two field representatives from the Walmart home office, Bre Brown and Jackie Hogan, were present during the remodeling process.
Hogan said that the work completed by the remodel crew was well worth the effort, and gave the Keyser store the same consistency as all other Walmart stores.
A 17-year employee of the local Walmart, Darla Shaw felt the remodeling went well for the local Walmart, and she said, “Now the store has a clean, modern look.”
Casey Kidder was part of the remodel team, along with about 55 other members of that team and two supervisors.
Basically, the remodel crew completed such tasks as dismantling, moving, and reassembling shelves, moving merchandise to new locations, and unloading shipments of supplies to move them to the main floor for placement for purchase by customers.
Many hired as the temporary remodel crew has now been hired by Keyser Walmart as associates in positions throughout the store.
During the re-opening ceremony, Smith awarded four grants, with each being $1,000, and the grants went to Keyser Primary School, Keyser High School girls’ softball team, Romney Middle School, and Burlington Children’s Home.