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UPDATE: Walmart opens its doors
The Walmart SuperCentre opened on Friday morning to a crowd of eager shoppers.
It marked the first fully-open store in the 20-acre, $200-million Highstreet retail development on Mt. Lehman Road.
The Walmart SuperCentre celebrated its new 152,000-square-foot location with a ribbon-cutting at 7:30 a.m. with shoppers entering the store soon after.
The ribbon-cutting was attended by Mayor Bruce Banman, who awarded store manager Brad Blankenagel with the store's business license.
Walmart awarded a $3,000 donation to the Canuck Place Children's Hospice, a $2,500 contribution to the Abbotsford Food Bank and a $2,500 donation to Alexander Elementary School to mark the beginning of their charitable contributions to the community.
Blankenagel said the store is expected to be quite busy following the opening.
Cindy Franks, one of the first shoppers through the doors, said she is excited about the new Walmart because it is so close to her home.
The new SuperCentre is similar in size to the Port Coquitlam and Chilliwack stores, and larger than the current Abbotsford Walmart. It employs around 300 people.
The opening marked the first of many phases that will occur at Highstreet the coming year.
Highstreet is located directly off Highway 1 at Mt. Lehman Road, and will include 90 retail stores, anchored by Walmart, London Drugs, Marshalls and a Cineplex VIP Cinema.