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Potsdam Wal-Mart Offers Savings for Back-to-School and Beyond


New Supercenter provides everyday convenience, low prices

POTSDAM, N.Y., – Back-to-school shopping will be simpler than ever in St. Lawrence County and surrounding communities with Wednesday’s opening of a new Wal-Mart Supercenter in Potsdam. Approximately 400 associates are putting the final touches on the store, as they get ready to help families and students at nearby colleges prepare for the new school year. A grand-opening celebration will begin at 7:30 a.m., and doors open to customers at 8 a.m.

Located at 7494 U.S. Highway 11, the Supercenter’s Victorian motif with dormers over its entrances complement Potsdam’s historic architecture, and a dark red brick façade and columns resemble locally quarried reddish-orange sandstone.

“Potsdam is known as The Sandstone City, and Wal-Mart took special care to make this store blend in beautifully with the rest of our wonderful town,” said Marie C. Regan, Town Supervisor. “It will be convenient for our local residents, and I’m sure it will attract shoppers from nearby communities who will not only shop at Wal-Mart but also want to experience all that Potsdam has to offer.”

“We are glad to see Wal-Mart, because it is a great boost to the community and especially for the two colleges located in the village,” Town Councilman Harold Demick said.

With Adirondack Park and the wetlands that abound near Potsdam, environmental conservation played an important role in the Supercenter’s setting and design. The store’s energy-efficient technology and environmentally friendly features reduce energy and water consumption and minimize waste. Skylights harvest daylight and reduce the amount of energy required to light the store by up to 75 percent daily. LED lighting throughout the store operates 70 percent more efficiently than traditional fluorescent lighting. Part of the cement used in the store’s concrete flooring is made with recycled materials, and the floor’s finish reduces the need for chemical cleaners.

One-Stop Shopping Convenience for the Entire Family
Designed as a convenient one-stop family shopping destination, the new 188,640-square-foot Supercenter includes a full line of groceries, more than 30 merchandise departments and a variety of time-saving services.

Back-to-school shoppers will find everything they need for the classroom, including computers and other electronics, school supplies and affordable apparel. With four universities nearby, the store features a wide selection of collegiate merchandise, as well as merchandise for professional sports teams and NASCAR.

“We can’t wait to start providing area residents and college students with all the conveniences of a Supercenter in their own town,” said Store Manager Chris McKinney. “Several associates are students themselves and understand the challenges of juggling classes, work and college life.”

The store’s offerings include more for the student than standard supplies like notebook paper, laptop computers and team T-shirts, McKinney said. “In addition to buying everything they need to get back to school,” he said, “students can find small appliances and closet organizers to make the most of dorm living. They can decorate their rooms with Wal-Mart’s new Canopy™ line of durable, affordable furniture and home accessories from our home furnishings department. They can outfit an entire apartment.”

For outdoor enthusiasts, the store features a wide selection of fly fishing equipment and camping gear and has hired a licensed New York State outdoor guide as an associate in its sporting goods department.

Community Involvement Begins with Grand Opening Grants
Wal-Mart is celebrating the grand opening of the store by contributing $20,000 to local organizations. That support includes a $5,000 grant to Lawrence Avenue Elementary School for its after-school mentoring program. Another $5,000 grant will help the Potsdam Volunteer Fire Department purchase a hydraulic electric power generator. The Potsdam Junior Hockey Association will receive a $5,000 grant to buy equipment and provide scholarships for local youth. The Potsdam Neighborhood Center will also receive a $2,500 grant to help provide school supplies to low-income children, and the St. Lawrence County Housing Council will be able to provide bus transportation to residents who are elderly or disabled, thanks to its own $2,500 grant.

“We realize that financial support to local organizations helps make a real difference in the community,” said McKinney. “We are thrilled to provide these grants as part of our grand-opening celebration. We will continue to play a leadership role in supporting the needs of Potsdam and neighboring communities.”

New Store Brings Hometown Jobs
In addition to providing shopping convenience to customers, the store provides jobs to approximately 400 local residents. About 40 associates have transferred to the Potsdam store from other Wal-Mart locations.

“Working for Wal-Mart provides a number of job opportunities and choices for so many people, from seniors looking for supplemental income to young people just starting their work experience,” said McKinney, who started his Wal-Mart career in 1997 as an hourly associate, stocking coolers in the dairy department at a store in Ada, Okla.

Ribbon-cutting Celebration 7:30 a.m., Aug. 13
Community and business leaders will join Wal-Mart associates for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 7:30 a.m., Wednesday, and doors to the new store will open at 8 a.m. Rev. Monsignor Harry Snow of St. Andrew Parish will offer the invocation, veterans from American Legion Post 74 will present the colors and Wal-Mart associate Maggie Vaughn will sing the national anthem. Associates who have worked at Wal-Mart for more than 10 years will help McKinney cut the ribbon to the new store. Throughout the day, activities will include numerous product samples, character appearances and giveaways.

About Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Every week, millions of customers visit Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Sam’s Club locations across America or log on to its online store at The company and its foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally. Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods and last year gave more than $296 million to local communities in the United States. To learn more, visit, or


* An invitation-only open house for grant recipients and other VIPs is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, and includes preview tours and check presentations to representatives of community organizations. Reporters and photographers are welcome
* Store Manager Chris McKinney is available for interviews and to arrange for photo opportunities or tours. He can be reached at 315-268-6900
* Statements and quotes on behalf of Wal-Mart should not be obtained from or attributed to agency employees.

Potsdam Wal-Mart Supercenter

Store facts

* Location: 7494 U.S. Highway 11, Potsdam, N.Y.
* 188,640-square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenter
* Store opens at 8 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 13, after a 7:30 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony
* Store manager: Chris McKinney

Store features

* Full line of groceries, bakery goods, deli foods, frozen foods, meat and dairy products, fresh produce, beer
* Merchandise departments include apparel and accessories, sporting goods, fine jewelry, lawn and garden, health and beauty aids and a full line of electronics
* Convenience services include a Tire & Lube Express, vision center, a digital photo processing center, Wal-Mart Connect Center, family fun center and a pharmacy with two drive-through lanes
* Leased areas and services include a SmartStyle Family Hair Salon, a Subway restaurant and a branch of Woodforest Bank
* Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week

Charitable giving
$20,000 in charitable contributions to five area organizations

* Lawrence Avenue Elementary School
* Potsdam Volunteer Fire Department
* Potsdam Junior Hockey Association
* Potsdam Neighborhood Center
* St. Lawrence County Housing Council


* Store employs approximately 400 associates.
* Nine of the store’s associates have worked for Wal-Mart for more than 10 years.
* Store Manager Chris McKinney started his Wal-Mart career as an hourly associate in the dairy department of a store in Ada, Okla.
* The average wage for full-time hourly associates in New York is $11.52.
* Wal-Mart benefits – available to eligible full- and part-time associates – include health insurance with no lifetime maximum. Wal-Mart also offers a 401(k) plan and profit sharing contributions, whether an associate contributes or not, store discount cards, company performance-based bonuses, stock purchase program and life insurance.

For more information

* Store manager: Chris McKinney, 315-268-6900.
* Statements and quotes on behalf of Wal-Mart should not be obtained from or attributed to agency employees.
* Wal-Mart information online:; merchandise sales:


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