A state-of-the-art showroom for customers to try laptops and tablets, energy efficient lighting and new flooring are just a few of the upgrades recently completed at Walmart in Taos.
The store's management, 200 employees and a few special guests celebrated Friday (July 6) with a ribbon cutting and refreshments for customers all day.
The remodel took about three months and a lot of long nights to avoid impacting customers during the day, according to store manager Carl Lucero.
Other upgrades include an expanded baby section, larger frozen food and dairy departments, and new coolers for an expanded liquor section.
Customers also will find a new "pickup lounge" at the front of the store, which, to be clear, is for customers to swing by and get their pre-ordered items, not find a date.
"We've received a lot of positive feedback from customers and they are enjoying all the new updates throughout the store," said Lucero, in a prepared statement.
The Taos store is 32 years old.
Mayor Dan Barrone was at the ribbon cutting to thank Walmart for paying their employees a higher minimum wage and for the amount of gross receipts taxes generated by customers at the store, which helps the town's revenues.
Starting pay at Walmart is now $11.50 an hour. Lucero said the pay goes up from there and can top well over $20 an hour depending on the length of time a person has worked for the company and their skill level. He said Walmart also provides health insurance, profit sharing, a retirement fund and helps pay for college courses and training for employees.
Cynthia Rasco, an assistant store manager, has worked for the Taos Walmart for nearly 25 years. Rasco said it was great to have the remodel finished. "It was definitely very challenging, but very exciting to see the outcome," she said.