Walmart is set to reopen its store in Chesapeake, Va., which was the site of a mass shooting in November 2022.
Walmart has revamped the store, which will open on April 13, with a “store-of-the-future” design that includes an outdoor memorial space to honor the victims of the 2022 tragedy and “provide a place of comfort for the survivors,” the company said. Flanked by local foliage, the space will feature six seating structures in honor of the six Walmart employees who lost their lives in the shooting.
The store’s remodel and transformation is designed to created an exceptional experience for customers and includes expanded shopping options, engaging displays, interactive features and an overall fresh look. This new "store-of-the-future" is part of Walmart’s signature experiences and includes the most innovative and customer-friendly design elements.
"We are deeply touched by the community’s compassion and support as we continue to heal from last year’s tragedy," said Alycia Mixon, Walmart store manager. "As we move forward with our reopening, we do so in a way that honors the victims and provides continued support to our associates. Our associates have been working hard to prepare the store for the community and they look forward to welcoming back our customers."
A recent exclusive study conducted earlier this year by Chain Store Age sister publication Progressive Grocer found that most grocery retailers are ill-prepared for a disaster event such as a shooting, even as the number of crises in the United States and in grocery stores is increasing. According to the study, 40% of grocery retailers said that they’ve experienced at least one crisis or emergency incident in the past two years.
Walmart operates 149 stores throughout Virginia and employs more than 44,000 associates.