The Walmart at Aramingo Crossings provides 300 jobs, plus savings on wide selection of merchandise
PHILADELPHIA, April 10, 2012 – A new Walmart opens at the Aramingo Crossings Shopping Center, bringing 300 new jobs, savings for local shoppers and an increase in tax revenue to support the area’s economy. Nonprofit organizations will also benefit from the retailer’s ongoing charitable contributions and support for community projects. The Walmart, located at 2200 Wheatsheaf Lane, will be open to customers Wednesday, April 11, after a brief 7 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Economic Impact Includes 300 New Jobs
The Walmart at Aramingo Crossings will employ approximately 300 associates, according to store manager Bhupit “Bubba” Bohra. Bohra began his Walmart career in 2001 as an hourly sales associate in Ephrata, PA.
Store Designed to Improve Customer Experience
In recent months, Walmart has taken major steps to refresh its stores, merchandising and customer experience. The improvements have all come together in the company’s newest stores, such as the Walmart at Aramingo Crossings, with fast service, a friendly shopping experience and clean stores.
The new Walmart features enhanced service and a layout designed to make the shopping experience more convenient for customers. Walmart aligned the departments that customers shop most frequently. The pharmacy, for example, is adjacent to food making it easier for customers to pick up their prescriptions while shopping for their groceries.
“The layout of the store is easy to navigate, which will save our customers time as they shop for everyday necessities,” said Bohra. “By grouping the products that our customers most often purchase, including health and beauty and pet supplies, we are making one-stop shopping even easier.”
A bright interior color palette creates an inviting shopping experience and helps define the store’s merchandise areas. Directional signage on every aisle helps customers find what they are looking for quickly. Customers now have easy access to these services, as well as associates on hand to help meet their needs.
Store Design Incorporates Environmentally Friendly Features
The Walmart at Aramingo Crossings, like all new Walmart stores, includes energy-efficient technology and environmentally friendly features to reduce energy and water consumption and minimize waste. The store’s skylights harvest daylight and reduce the amount of energy required to light the store by up to 75 percent daily. LED lighting in the store operates 70 percent more efficiently than traditional fluorescent lighting.
The cement used in the concrete flooring is made with recycled materials, and the floor’s finish reduces the need for chemical cleaners. Low-flow toilets and faucets reduce the water used in the bathrooms. The new store also operates a recycling program that includes organic composting and will promote sustainable product purchases.
Ribbon-Cutting Celebration 7 a.m., April 11
Community and business leaders will join Walmart associates at 7 a.m., Wednesday, April 11, for a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony. A store associate will perform the national anthem. City of Philadelphia Deputy Mayor Alan Greenberger, Philadelphia Councilman Mark Squilla, Bohra and other associates will cut the ribbon to the new store.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at over 10,000 retail units under 69 different banners in 27 countries. With fiscal year 2012 sales of approximately $444 billion, Walmart employs 2.2 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://walmartstores.com, and on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com.
• An invitation-only open house for grant recipients and other VIPs is scheduled from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 10. Reporters and photographers are welcome.
• Store manager Bhupit “Bubba” Bohra is available for interviews and to arrange photo opportunities or tours. He can be reached at 215-613-2236.
• Walmart Media Relations, 800-331-0085
• Media Contact: Kera Armstrong, Ceisler Media, 215-735-6760 (Statements and quotes on behalf of Walmart should not be obtained from or attributed to agency employees.)
• Walmart information online: www.walmartstores.com; merchandise sales: www.walmart.com
From India to Wal-Mart
From India to Walmart
By Helen Ubiñas
Ten years ago, Bhupit Bohra arrived from India in the United States with a plan.
Bubba – that’s what everyone calls him – would get a job in the computer industry, and he’d work hard.
But then five days after he arrived, terrorists attacked the World Trade Center. And his plan was useless.
“I applied for something like 20 or 30 jobs. I had absolutely no success. I mean zero, absolutely zero. I was really frustrated,” he said.
No one ever said it, but Bubba couldn’t help but think the rejections had less to do with his qualifications and more to do with other sentiments that gripped the country at the time.
“I thought, ‘Wow, I’m never going to get a job here.’”
But a lot has changed in 10 years. Now Bubba, 41, is the manager of a new Wal-Mart at the Aramingo Crossings Shopping Center.
When I visited him, he was reveling in “Grand Opening” day success:
More than 300 employees, most from the Port Richmond and Kensington neighborhoods. (There were 5,000 applicants.)
More than a thousand people waiting to shop before the doors opened.
And for Bubba, a decade’s worth of hard work realized.
Looking back, Bubba said he could never have predicted it. He didn’t know much about Wal-Mart when he applied for a job. He definitely didn’t know what to make of his late night interview until he realized it was for an overnight stocker.
Someone else might have considered that a blow to their ego, or their university degrees.
Not Bubba. “I was just so happy that someone was opening their arms to me,’’ he said.
Not that he necessarily planned on staying long. For the first six months or so, he continued to apply for computer jobs. He had that plan, remember?
But then he was promoted to an hourly supervisor. And then he was accepted into Wal-Mart’s management program. He’s been a Wal-Mart manager for four years, but the Port Richmond store is the first he’s overseen from the ground up.
It wasn’t easy – what reinvention ever is? He was fluent in the country’s language, but not its culture.
He still remembers trying to bond with co-workers with deep conversations about values and goals. Not exactly smoke break chatter.
TV helped, though he jokes that he still doesn’t know why they call it football when it’s a game you don’t play with your feet.
And stocking the shelves at Wal-Mart helped, too.
Over time, his hesitation to talk about aspirations and accomplishments passed. Now he often talks to employees about his road to success. And he’s always on the lookout to return the opportunity that he was given.
During interviews for the new store, a woman from the neighborhood came in to apply for a sales position. With a background in retail, she was clearly qualified. But Bubba saw something more, so he offered to make her head of the infant department.
“Now when I pass by her, she tells me, ‘Bubba, I thank you for the opportunity. I won’t let you down.’”
It’s the same thing Bubba told the Wal-Mart manager who gave him his first shot. And look at him now.