New Walmart opens on Randall Road
After a year of massive earth moving and construction, Walmart finally opened its doors to customers today at its new Randall & Bowes Road location. The old store at Randall & Royal Boulevard closed yesterday. The new store is a hypermarket, combining a complete supermarket with the traditional discount store offerings. The exterior of the building sports a bright and fresh look compared to the traditional Walmart design. However, the interior is decidedly drabbier, somewhat dark, with concrete floors that have yet to take on the lustrous patina conferred by heavy use. The layout mirrors that of the Meijer store, another hypermarket, that sits just a block north on Randall Road. These stores are now in direct competition.
A mile or two down the road in South Elgin, Super Target has a somewhat more upscale clientele, though their customer traffic is likely to fall in response to their recent decision to discontinue processing film. The new Walmart appears to have a complete photo lab with a new Fuji Frontier machine for handling film processing, scanning and printing CDs and prints. Additionally, Walmart’s send-out service can handle most types of film including medium format, slides, black and white, and until months ago it even processed Super 8.
Next to this new Walmart location, Elgin’s first Sam’s Club is expected to be open for business sometime next year. Together the two stores may generate as much as $1.8M a year in tax revenue for the cash-strapped city.