Business

Lexington’s first Walmart is closing soon. You may be surprised at what’s left.

Lexington’s first Walmart now has only a handful of goods and will close on Friday. Walmart was the anchor store in Mist Lake Plaza, 3180 Richmond Road. On Wednesday afternoon, store closing signs were posed at the front stating 90 percent off.
Lexington’s first Walmart now has only a handful of goods and will close on Friday. Walmart was the anchor store in Mist Lake Plaza, 3180 Richmond Road. On Wednesday afternoon, store closing signs were posed at the front stating 90 percent off. cbertram@herald-leader.com

Lexington’s first Walmart, eagerly welcomed to the city in 1993, is now a shadow of a retail space.

The store, in Mist Lake Plaza at Man o’ War Boulevard, is scheduled to close on Friday. You don’t have to get a cart to shop, because you could easily fit the remainder of the store’s goods in a few armloads.

Walmart, once a sprawling mass of goods, has been reduced to a single tiny aisle of random items: an aquarium light bulb, assorted products for diabetics, light-up novelty necklaces for July 4.

There’s a collection of tiny plastic novelty license plates stamped with first names: If your name is Evelyn, you’re in luck. If you need a Febreze filter for your vacuum that’s partially sticking out of its box, that’s also available.

Totaling the worth of all the goods in that lightly stocked aisle, you would come up with a sum in only the low hundreds of dollars.

The rest of the once-thriving store has been blocked off, with a buffing machine working on the floors. A handful of Walmart employees cluster in the store’s front area near the cash registers. A few weeks ago, the store had 200 employees.

Walmart announced on July 11 that it was closing the store after 25 years in business.

At the time, Walmart spokesperson Anne Hatfield said the employees will be paid through Sept. 14 and will have the chance to transfer to other Walmart or Sam’s Club stores in the area.

The Mist Lake Plaza shopping center where Walmart is a tenant is owned by Brixmor Property Group.

Kristen Moore, a spokeswoman for Brixmor, said in an e-mail last week that the company is pursuing “best-in-class” tenants for the property and will share names once leases are completed. The shopping center also includes Hibbett Sports and YouFit gym.

Brixmor’s website states the area is close to 94,000 people with an average income of more than $79,000 within three miles. The intersection of Richmond Road and Man o’ War Boulevard sees 39,000 vehicles a day, according to Brixmor.

A Brixmor spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Walmart on Richmond Road, Lexington's first Walmart, will be closing.

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