COLUMBIA, S.C., May 4, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Walmart announced plans to open dozens of new stores throughout South Carolina over the next five years adding more than 4,000 jobs and stimulating hundreds of millions of dollars in new economic activity. At an event at the new South Carolina Farmers Market, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley joined Bill Simon, president and CEO of Walmart U.S., to share plans for new stores that will offer a full line of groceries and a wide assortment of new products and services to local residents
"We believe South Carolina is a great investment," Bill Simon said. "We will open dozens of new stores in communities across the state – creating jobs, driving economic growth and offering South Carolinians the broadest assortment of goods at our everyday low prices. These jobs we offer will be good jobs with competitive wages and benefits and opportunities to build a career."
The new stores present a significant opportunity for South Carolina's workforce, bringing with them jobs that have competitive pay, generous benefits and opportunities to advance as Walmart has a history of growing their management team from within. Nationwide, nearly 75 percent of Walmart's store management team started as hourly associates. The new stores will include energy-efficient technology and sustainable features to reduce energy and water consumption and minimize waste.
Additionally, this growth will further expand the economic impact of Walmart's long-term commitment to South Carolina by employing local construction companies to build new stores, as well as continuing to source local produce from South Carolina's farmers. Some of these include family-run farms such as Flavor First Farms, Titan Farms and Jerrold A. Watson and Sons where the company sources, peaches, tomatoes, cucumbers and other produce. The expansion will mean hundreds of millions of dollars in capital investment and economic activity throughout the state, and tens of millions of dollars in local and state taxes which will help sustain public sector employees like teachers and police officers.
Gov. Nikki Haley said, "This is a strong company that already employs almost 28,000 people in our state. To have them continue to invest in South Carolina and create more than 4,000 additional jobs is something we're going to celebrate."
Walmart has a notable presence throughout South Carolina, with 77 Walmart stores, nine Sam's Club locations and two distribution centers, providing a full-time average hourly wage of $12.80 per hour. The company also supports more than 95,000 jobs in the state.
Walmart has a long history of giving locally to the communities in which it serves. Last year alone, Walmart stores, Sam's Club locations and the Walmart Foundation gave more than $13.8 million in cash and in-kind donations to organizations in South Carolina. Through additional funds donated by Walmart and Sam's Club associates, as well as customers throughout the state, the retailer's charitable contributions in South Carolina totaled more than $16.2 million. Walmart also collected and remitted on behalf of the state more than $246.5 million in sales taxes last year.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at 9,000 retail units under 60 different banners in 15 countries. With fiscal year 2011 sales of $419 billion, Walmart employs more than 2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://www.walmartstores.com, on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/Walmart, and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/walmart. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com.