Shoppers celebrate opening of new Walmart - FOX 8, WVUE,, weather, app, news, saints

Shoppers celebrate opening of new Walmart

The huge crowd made it look like Christmas in June. Hundreds of shoppers grabbed carts to be the first through the doors of the new Walmart in New Orleans East.

The store opened Wednesday morning to great fanfare and freebies.

Walmart is the first big box retailer to open in New Orleans East since Hurricane Katrina, offering another option for household and grocery items in an area that's been largely without retail since the storm.

The opening of the new Walmart also means the creation of more than 300 jobs, with many of the employees coming from the neighborhoods right around the store.

"This will anchor the retail corridor along Bullard and hopefully attract new retail to this area," says Amy Quirk, Advisor to Mayor Landrieu for Economic Development. "Of course it will attract new sales tax dollars."

Toni Thorpe, a New Orleans East resident, welcomed the new store.

"I went to Chalmette for Walmart or I'd go to Tchoupitoulas for Walmart and that was just taxing because you had to go so far," she says. "This is wonderful, it's right in our neighborhood."

The Walmart will be open 7 days a week, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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