Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Walmart back in business

Groceries available now, holiday gifts coming Friday.

Clovis’ Walmart was set to reopen its “grocery side” on Saturday and had plans to sell other “limited” items as soon as this week, company spokesman Joe Pennington said last week.

The region’s largest retailer closed Sept. 3 after a fire officials said caused $42 million in damage. A transient who entered the store after hours has been charged with arson. Jimmy Guillen was arrested in Lubbock on Sept. 13 and returned to Clovis’ jail on Friday to await trial.

“Knowing this is an essential store in the community, we worked really hard to reopen what we can, as soon as safely possible. Especially before the Christmas season, we know that’s really important,” Pennington said.

He said area residents looking to stock up on Christmas presents – including electronics, toys and home goods – can start doing so in-store as early as Friday. He cautioned items will initially be limited.

Clovis City Commissioner Helen Casaus said it is “outstanding news” that Walmart is coming back, especially as the holiday season is about to begin. She said with the supercenter reopening, local businesses that have been picking up the slack can finally relax from the workload and continue with their normal business hours.

“I think they will be happy. … I think everyone is just looking forward to (Walmart) being open,” Casaus said.

The supercenter’s general merchandise and auto repair section will continue to be closed until further notice, Pennington said. He said the bakery and deli sections will not be available until later. These sections will be closed off from the public, ensuring their safety and the progress of construction.

“As for the rest of the building, we’re still working on it and don’t have a date for when the rest of the building will open. But we’re working hard on that part of it as well,” Pennington said.

Casaus said the supercenter will “probably open in March.” But an official reopening date has yet to be determined.

“All we know is that it’s groceries for now, but by March it will be bigger and better,” Casaus said.

Both Casaus and Pennington said employees from the Clovis’ location will be returning to the store during its reopening. Pennington said many of the Clovis employees had been relocated to the Portales’ store.

“We were really proud to keep these associates on and working and getting paid while we got the store back open as well,” Pennington said.

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