The City of D'Iberville is gearing up to add a smaller version of a retail giant to its community. After 12 years of vacancy, this lot in D’Iberville is getting a makeover. On Monday, contractors started working on a Walmart Express that has locals more than excited for the change.
Gerald Perron, a resident, says, “The area is greatly in need of this type of store. Everyone loves the prices of Walmart’s groceries and having it in the local area or about to, it’s going to be great for the elderly who have a hard time of getting around.” This 41,000 square foot Walmart will not only be a grocery store, but a pharmacy and deli as well. Rusty Quave, the Mayor of D’Iberville, says, “Walmart is such a company that they would not put that type of investment in a neighborhood if they felt it was going to fail, and hopefully all the other businesses can capitalize off of it.”
Critics are concerned that there will be an increase in traffic, but supporters think having a Walmart Express will bring in more people without too much congestion. Helen Hudson, the District Manager of American Cash Advance, says, “I think it’s great to have a smaller Walmart on this side of the town. As far as bringing in business, I work for American Cash Advance and there will be more cars on our street. I think you can zip in and zip out of there instead of the bigger Walmart on Sangani where it’s hard to get in and out of.”
There are also concerns that the retail giant will only hurt small local businesses. Angie Woods, the Manager of Tobacco Shack, disagrees. Woods says, “It’s going to be good for competition. It is going to be good for everybody’s businesses.” There is currently a full sized Walmart on Sangani Boulevard and D'Iberville officials look forward to the increased business the mini-retailer will bring. There are plans for two more Walmart Express stores to open in Biloxi and Gulfport.