At 7:30 a.m. June 1, the new Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market at 1824 Popp's Ferry in Biloxi will officially open, bringing Biloxi its first full grocery store north of the bay.
Store manager Louis Pellissier said he had intended to hire 100 people to staff the store 24/7. But with schools and lots of houses nearby, along with the interest he's seen from the community, he now thinks he'll need 110 employees.
Like the other Neighborhood Markets in Gulfport, Biloxi and D'Iberville, this 42,000-square-foot store sells primarily groceries.
"We do have a pharmacy department with drive through," he said.
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Along with produce and meat departments, he said, customers will find made-to-order Pop's Pizzeria pizza and prepared foods to go such as rotisserie chicken, pork loin and ribs smoked on site.
The Popp's Ferry store also has a gas station that will be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., said Pellissier, who has worked for Wal-Mart for 21 years,
For those products not carried at the Neighborhood Store, "you can order from walmart.com and it will be shipped here for free," he said.
"I think people are excited about it," said Councilman Kenny Glavan, who represents that area of Biloxi. "It's going to serve a huge need for Ward 6 and the community," he said. The nearest grocery stores from this site are south of the bay in Biloxi or in D'Iberville.
Glavan introduced a bill that provides a tax-increment financing, or TIF, bond for the road and infrastructure at Wal-Mart and the adjacent new Arbor Landing on the River apartments. The TIF bond is for $2 million, but he said it could be increased to help pay for sidewalks and to extend the road. "We can go back and modify if they are producing a lot of financing," he said of the businesses.
Another Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market will be coming to 6412 Washington Ave. in Ocean Springs, south of Fort Bayou Road.
And a legal advertisement in the Sun Herald said Wal-Mart Real Estate Business Trust has submitted an application for a retail development at the former Estabrook Toyota site in Pascagoula.