Written by: Madison Borden @MadisonBorden4
A Super Wal-Mart will be opening in Rexburg Jan. 27.
On Nov. 21, 2015, an application was submitted to rezone the new Wal-Mart location to North Second East and Moody Road, about 2.1 miles north of the current Rexburg Wal-Mart.
Wal-Mart’s Senior Manager of Communications Mike Bullard said, according to East Idaho News, the new Wal-Mart will offer full-service grocery, vision center, tire and lube-express center, drive-thru pharmacy, bakery, traditional general merchandise, apparel and electronics.
“Over the coming year, our goal is to work with the city to move forward with plans for the upgraded and relocated store,” Bullard said. “We look forward to working with the city, serving our Rexburg customers and providing new opportunities for our local associates.”
The new building will be more than 190,000 square feet, nearly twice as large as the current Wal-Mart. It will require double the employees, bringing over 200 more jobs to the community, according to East Idaho News.
“If you have a store that comes in that improves the jobs that you can get, I think it’s a good thing,” said Catherine Johnson, a Rexburg resident.
The new store will be closer for those living in St. Anthony, Driggs and other nearby areas. It will include a full-service gas station, and a free shuttle service with stops near most major housing complexes.
Alyssa Harper, a freshman studying elementary education, said with the new shuttle services for Wal-Mart, she would definitely use it and be more likely to shop at that Wal-Mart.
“Being a college student without a car creates many difficulties and challenges, including transportation for grocery shopping,” Harper said. “In addition to the transportation issue, the current Wal-Mart doesn’t have a produce section and overall isn’t that great of a Wal-Mart, so I hardly ever shop there. But I could definitely see myself shopping at the new Wal-Mart.”
The first public hearing for the rezone application was Dec. 19, 2013, during the Rexburg Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.
Cody Rae, a sophomore studying mechanical engineering, said he believes although the new Wal-Mart could be nice for some students, it might also be a challenge because of the farther distance.
“I don’t want to drive that far to go to Wal-Mart,” Rae said. “But it will definitely upgrade the city because it will bring more money from surrounding towns to the economy in Rexburg.”
While some believe the Super Wal-Mart will be beneficial to Rexburg, others believe it will put other small local businesses in jeopardy.
Rae said he is among those who believe small businesses and companies will be put at risk due to the new Wal-Mart.
“The new Wal-Mart could definitely close smaller businesses,” Rae said. “Wal-Mart is more established, and they always roll back their prices.”
On the other hand, Quinton Owens, Rexburg building inspector, said he believes local businesses will benefit from the new Wal-Mart.
“It will be good for those who like to shop at Wal-Mart,” Owens said. “It’s also farther away from the college. But on the positive side, more might go to the stores that are closer.”