BATON ROUGE, La., Jan. 19, 2012 – Opening just in time for big game parties and Mardi Gras festivities, the newly relocated Sam’s Club, located at 9598 Cortana Place near the junction with Airline Highway, will celebrate its official grand opening Jan. 26 with a Louisiana-pride themed ribbon-cutting ceremony at 8 a.m. Doors will open to members immediately following the ceremony.
“Our associates have provided excellent service to our members for more than 20 years in the former location, and I’m proud of the work they’ve accomplished in getting this new club ready for its grand opening,” said club manager Kenneth Heckard. “We can’t wait to show our neighbors in the Baton Rouge area the expanded selection, with savings on everything from prescriptions to fresh foods, office supplies and high-quality jewelry.”
The 134,000-square-foot club will now be part of the Cortana Mall shopping area, approximately one mile south of its former location. Constructed with environmentally friendly materials and energy-efficient fixtures, the club has gained an additional 18,000 square feet as part of its relocation. One of the ways the new Sam’s Club eliminates energy waste is with daylight-harvesting skylights that reduce the amount of energy required to light the store by up to 75 percent daily. LED lighting throughout the club, including in the cooler and freezer box doors and jewelry counter, operates 70 percent more efficiently than traditional fluorescent lighting.
“In this economy, everyone’s trying to save money and find the best values. Our members know that Sam’s Club makes saving simple because we offer exceptional value over traditional retailers,” Heckard said.
For its grand opening and beyond, the club will offer local favorites from Louisiana-based companies. In the grocery department, members will find Community Coffee, Big Easy Foods, Tony Chachere’s Famous Creole Cuisine, Manda Sausage, Southern BBQ, Richard’s Cajun Food, Louisiana Fish Fry and Polk’s Meat. Tabasco Co., Chilliwear apparel, Prim Baby nature-inspired children’s decor and the Cajun Claw fish hook remover will also be available during the grand opening festivities.
The Cortana club offers members exceptional values on products from the latest electronics to deli platters and entertaining necessities. In addition to fresh produce, the new club offers home meal solutions for families, freshly baked breads and pastries, and a deli department with rotisserie chicken, ribs and freshly prepared meals.
Sam’s Club pharmacy, open to members and the public,features $4 and $10 generic prescriptions and savings on branded prescriptions. The club also features an optical department and a new hearing center. Sam’s Club offers free monthly health screenings to help members take charge of their health through preventive measures, supported by product offerings like the Prevention Plan and an exclusive line of Simply Right wellness and nutrition items.
Club to Employ 190 Associates
The Cortana club plans to employ approximately 190 associates, including 15 new positions created by the relocation. Club manager Heckard started his career with Sam’s Club as an hourly associate at the Round Rock, Texas, location in 2000, stocking groceries on a part-time basis. Heckard, who was born in Monroe and spent his youth in north Louisiana, returned to the Pelican State in 2008 to manage the Sam’s Club.
“As a native son of Louisiana, I understand the value of giving back and am proud to provide community-relevant products and support to our neighbors on behalf of Sam’s Club,” said Heckard.
Sam’s Club Community Commitment
To underscore Sam’s Club’s commitment to give back to the communities it serves, associates from the Cortana club have selected several local organizations to receive more than $9,000 in grants from the Walmart Foundation, including Walker High School Band of Legacy, Southside Junior High School, HOPE Ministries, Lanier Charter Elementary School Louisiana Center for Health, United Blood Service/Baton Rouge and Istrouma Area Council Boy Scouts of America.
As part of its community outreach, the club partners with nearby elementary schools, providing volunteers and grants to support educational programs. At the club’s official Adopt-A-School Lanier Charter Elementary School, associates have mentored students through the local Big Buddy program for the past two years. In 2010, associates helped renovate Lanier for an episode of the new NBC television show, “School Pride.”
The newly relocated Sam’s Club also fights hunger in the area by making regular product donations to Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. Once it relocates, the club will donate fixtures from its old location to the Food Bank for use in its storage facility. The program is part of a partnership between Sam’s Club and Feeding America. Sam’s Club locations across the country regularly donate perishable food items to area hunger relief agencies, helping fight hunger in their communities and reducing food waste. Last year, Sam’s Club donated more than 13 million pounds to Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief charity.
Added Savings with eValues
eValues is a membership benefit program for Sam’s Club Plus members that provides personalized savings on hundreds of items, including fresh foods, health and beauty products, and office supplies, as well as other goods and services available at Sam’s Club locations.
Jan. 25-29, special savings on a variety of products will be available to all Sam’s Club members. There are no coupons to clip and no rebate forms to complete and mail with eValues. Sam’s Club Plus members receive customized offers tailored to them and discounts are automatically taken at the register with the swipe of membership cards.
Sam’s Club estimates Plus members save more than $300 per year with eValues.
Grand Opening Event
The grand opening ceremony will take place at 8 a.m., Jan. 26 with local dignitaries, including representatives from the Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce, joining store associates and club manager Kenneth Heckard. Members of the Southern University ROTC will present the colors and Shalitha Young, a Sam’s Club associate, will perform the national anthem.
About Sam’s Club
Sam’s Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT), is the nation’s eighth largest retailer and a leading Membership warehouse club offering superior products and services to more than 47 million Members in clubs across the U.S., as well as in Brazil, China and Mexico. Members save an average of 30 percent over traditional retailers. To learn more about Savings Made Simple®, visit SamsClub.com, and look for Sam’s Club on Twitter and Facebook.