The store was packed at 7 a.m. with customers, as well as original associates of the former location who helped open the new store.
After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, customers began shopping and students from the Riverhead middle school jazz band played.
Before the ribbon-cutting on Wednesday, $11,500 in grants was given to local community groups on Tuesday night.
Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter lauded Walmart for being a good corporate partner. He reminded that during Hurricane Sandy, the Riverhead Walmart donated several hundred pillows for people to use while staying at the local emergency evacuation shelter.
“We’re happy that Walmart is investing in the town of Riverhead, and it’s a beautiful brand new building,” Walter said. “Riverhead is a shopping district, pulling from Montauk to Orient Point to Brookhaven. Thousands of people will visit this Walmart and have the opportunity to see what Riverhead is all about.”The local community groups who will share in the $11,500 in grants are Southold Troop 6, the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office, Turtle Rescue of the Hamptons Inc., Long Island Regional Envirothon Ltd., Make A Wish Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation, and Soldiers’ Angels.
Tuesday night's event was not open to the public, but the public was invited to the ribbon-cutting and grand opening, which took place Wednesday at 7:30 a.m.
In addition to the grants given as part of the grand opening, the new store will further Walmart’s pledge to fight hunger in America. In addition to Walmart’s and the Walmart Foundation’s $2 billion commitment through 2015, Walmart stores in New York donated approximately 8.6 million pounds of food in 2013.
The newly relocated store employs approximately 300 full and part-time associates, including 85 new hires.
“This newly relocated store is going to be great for the community, and I look forward to helping customers find everything they need while shopping at their new store,” said new manager Craig Winkler. “There will be even more opportunities to save money and live better with this new, larger store. We look forward to the community joining us at the grand-opening celebration."
To celebrate the grand opening, on Saturday, A Big Family welcome will give customers a chance to meet Winkler and enjoy family fun activities such as face painting, cupcake decorating and free food samples, while supplies last. The event will take place from noon to 3 p.m.
Riverhead shoppers are invited to share their new-store experiences on Facebook and Twitter by using #MyNewWalmart or on the Visit My Local Walmart Facebook page. Fans of the local page can receive information about rollbacks, in-store events, meal solutions and more.
The store is slated to open at 7 a.m. in its new location on Wednesday. The new store will be open from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m., seven days a week.
The store relocated from the former Walmart location in Riverhead at 765 Old Country Road. The old store closed on Tuesday.
The new store will include an expanded line of groceries and an assortment of general merchandise, as well as a pharmacy and a lawn and garden area triple the size of that in the old location.