Shoppers Make Last Trip to Madisonville Walmart

Local

A staple of the Madisonville shopping scene closing its doors.

The Walmart on East Center Street is having its final day of sales as they prepare to open a new store in Hanson.

One last trip to the Madisonviille Walmart on one of its last days open.

“It’s been here for a while. I’m sad to see it go,” says Reyna White of Madisonville.

“It went O.K. It was bleak pickings,” said Jeremy Kelley, describing his trip to buy a pair of shoes with shelves nearly empty. “I was glad there was a single pair that fit.”

It’s making way for its new store in Hanson, a nine minute drive from Madisonville.

“I think its O.K.,” White says. “A lot of people may not want to drive to Hanson, but the Hanson people had to drive here. Kind of works, I guess.”

Madisonville Mayor David Jackson says the city will lose $220,000 in tax money from the store’s move. He adds the city can still break even, through new taxes collected from Berry Plastics’s recent expansion, and through savings in fewer emergency responses.

“We make about 1,000 calls per year directly policing Walmart, also its $50,000 in direct expenses to take care of the policing costs, then plus the fire department. There are about 4 to 5 times more calls than any other business in the city,” Jackson says.

While the Madisonville Walmart will be a thing of the past, the future of this site has yet to be determined.

“I’ve had some conversations with Walmart in the past week that they’re still trying to determine what they want to do with that building, whether they want to tear that building down or market it with the building intact,” says Mayor Jackson. He adds they’ll keep attempting to lure other stores to replace the closing store.

As for the new Walmart opening in Hanson, a grand opening is scheduled for Wednesday at 7:30 AM.

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