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By Corey Costelloe
Assistant to the City Manager 

Highlighting the success within the economic landscape of our community

Economic Development Update


August 17, 2019

Corey Costelloe

Walmart opens Tehachapi Supercenter to fanfare

Tehachapi's long-awaited Walmart opened on August 7 with plenty of fanfare and celebration as hundreds of customers lined up in the early hours for the chance to be the first shoppers inside the door of the 155,000 square-foot store.

Manager Amy Garcia, her leadership team and Walmart associates welcomed the crowd that gathered for the ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday morning. It was a traditional Tehachapi grand opening with the National Anthem performed by the Tehachapi High School Marching Band, a proclamation from Mayor Susan Wiggins and words of encouragement regarding the new partnership from City Manager Greg Garrett. Pastor Mike Safford of the Tehachapi Mountain Vineyard Church blessed the store's opening and the community that will be shopping in it.

"We appreciate the investment and the trust that Walmart has put in the City of Tehachapi," Garrett said. "In today's retail environment you need to trust the community, trust that the community is going to support the store."

The store's opening far-exceeded management expectations with large crowds on opening day and beyond putting the new store's team to the test to restock shelves for back to school and grocery items. The online grocery pickup team reported over 40 online orders being filled on the first day of operation as the new feature is expected to be popular for the Tehachapi store due to its proximity to Tucker Road, a major route for commuting workers.

Walmart's economic impact is expected to be felt far beyond additional sales tax revenue, many shoppers, once forced to shop in Bakersfield or Lancaster for lower prices and selection are now able to make many of those purchases locally. With that money being spent in Tehachapi, the savings are then applied to purchases at other stores, small businesses and local restaurants.

As part of the ceremony, the Tehachapi Walmart presented several community organizations with donations including $2,000 for the Tehachapi Police Foundation. In addition, Walmart added the Tehachapi Police Department to their 'Hydrate Blue' campaign, donating a small cooler for each patrol vehicle which is filled with complimentary water donated by Walmart. They have also pledged trauma kits for vehicles and cooling systems that will attach to officer's load-bearing vests while in the vehicle.

The store employs over 200 workers, many of which were hired locally from other businesses including those that were part-time employees elsewhere but were given full-time positions and benefits with the local Walmart. The store operates from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

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