By Jim Davis HBJ Editor
EVERETT — Snohomish County’s newest Walmart is almost finished with children’s coats hanging from racks, ice cream stacked in freezers and Blu-ray DVDs piled in bins.
The 90,000-square-foot store across from the Everett Mall is scheduled to open in early September.
The store hired about 200 employees and is still looking to add another 20 to 30 to help with the upcoming holiday season, said Kirsten Twiss, a shift manager.
The newest location is at the former Top Foods supermarket at 1605 SE Everett Mall Way. The retail giant bought the property about four years ago for $10 million. The store will include a deli and grocery aisles that offer local vegetables and fruit and wine.
This is the seventh Walmart in the county with the eighth expected to open in Monroe in November.
Last week, employees bustled through the new Everett store, stocking shelves, taking inventory and learning new jobs.
One of those teaching the sales clerks was Aileen Bryant, who lives in Silver Lake. She’s new to Walmart herself, but has a great deal of experience in retail starting on Feb. 22, 1984. She was most recently working at 7-Eleven in Silver Lake.
Bryant took the job at Walmart, because it has flexible hours and she’ll get vacation and sick time. And there’s a chance for advancement.
“This is a great opportunity for me to really move up,” said Bryant, then pointing to Twiss’ employee badge. “I want what her’s says.”
The average salary for Walmart employees in Washington is $13.41 an hour and it’s slightly higher at the Everett store, Twiss said.
Katie Pinfield of Lynnwood left an office job to work at the new store as a claims supervisor, dealing with vendors to get credit for merchandise damaged during shipping. She said she wanted a non-desk job.
Pinfield said getting the store ready for opening has been a challenge, but they think they’re ready.
“(Twiss) told us it would be hard, but everybody’s pulling together,” Pinfield said.