Lakeland business leaders looking forward to new Walmart Express - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Lakeland business leaders looking forward to new Walmart Express

Sandy Sanders Sandy Sanders
Santiago Mendoza Santiago Mendoza
LAKELAND, GA (WALB) -

Monday, construction workers continued building a cinder block wall that will eventually be part of the new Walmart Express store.

Sandy Sanders, executive director of the Lakeland-Lanier Development Authority and president of the Lakeland-Lanier Chamber said the store is a sign that the county and the city are growing.

"We hope it's a blessing. We feel like that it is gonna be a blessing for us," said Sanders. He's confident that it won't put all of the local stores out of business and is hopeful that it will attract other businesses.

"The name 'Walmart', when they do come and establish a presence, there is usually other smaller chains, whether they're fast food or service type businesses, will usually follow," Sanders pointed out.

Santiago Mendoza owns the "Thrift and Pawn" store in Lakeland and hopes the competition might help make buying groceries in town less of a financial strain.

"Ever since Winn-Dixie bought out Harvey's, the price is ridiculous," Mendoza said. "Sometimes it was worth just goin' to Valdosta and spendin' gas money, but you end up savin' more money on groceries."

He added that having a big chain store in town will also be beneficial for both his business and the county. "We get more traffic through here, hopefully more money for the county. This is a very poor county, so I'm all for it. More traffic, more money for business owners here," said Mendoza.

Construction is expected to be completed by December 8th, but there is no word yet on when the store will officially open for business.

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