Wal-Mart plans to build its first smaller Neighborhood Market store in the Myrtle Beach area off U.S. 17 Business across from Ocean Lakes Family Campground.
The Neighborhood Market stores, which are much smaller than the massive 182,000-square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenters, aim to make it more convenient for shoppers to snag some groceries, including organic and natural items, or pick up prescriptions at the pharmacy.
The roughly 46,000-square-foot Neighborhood Market store planned for the Myrtle Beach area aims to open in early summer 2014, Wal-Mart spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said.
Horry County has approved the site work for the Neighborhood Market near the corner of S.C. 544 and U.S. 17 Business, but building permits haven’t yet been issued, according to David Schwerd, a planner in Horry County’s Planning & Zoning department.
The Neighborhood Market stores, which have an average of 95 workers, feature a pharmacy and a grocery area that includes fresh produce, meats, dairy products, bakery and deli items. The store also sells household supplies and health and beauty products.
“The store location was chosen because of the need to provide a more convenient shopping opportunity to our customers in the Myrtle Beach area and to adequately meet the demand fueled by growth in the area,” Henneberg said. “Grocery is an area that customers have come to expect from Wal-Mart because they know it’s an area where we can offer a broad assortment of fresh food at a low price. We’re pursuing opportunities to help ensure our customers in the area have access to the products they need for their families.”
There are no plans to close any of Wal-Mart’s other area stores -- including a Supercenter just a few miles away at S.C. 544 and U.S. 17 Bypass, Henneberg said. Wal-Mart has a strong presence in the Myrtle Beach area with about a half dozen stores and a Sam’s Club. It is one of Horry County’s largest employers, with roughly 2,100 workers.
“Myrtle Beach is a great area where we continue to look to better serve our customers,” Henneberg said.
The Jackson Companies, which owns the land where the Wal-Mart will be built, declined to comment, referring questions to Wal-Mart.
The Neighborhood Market store will be part of a planned retail hub dubbed Ocean Lakes Village, though plans submitted to Horry County don’t name the other stores. A Walgreens already operates there.
In August, the Buccaneer Bay Miniature Golf Course closed after 24 years to make way for the new development.
The first Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market opened in 1998, and there are now 290 locations across the country. The company said last week it wants to have 500 of the smaller stores in the next 18 months. This would be the second Neighborhood Market in South Carolina; the other one is in Greer.
Contact DAWN BRYANT at 626-0296 or at email@example.com or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_dawnbryant.