Walmart held a grand opening ceremony for its newest store today (Nov. 16). The 156,000 square foot Supercenter is located on the Derby Road in Derby. It is the first Walmart in the Northeast Kingdom. A huge number of people turned out for the ribbon cutting.
The Ames Department Store, which was also located on the Derby Road for many years, closed in 2002. Most people would never have guessed at that time the county would go without a chain department store for so many years. Fortunately many local businesses tried to fill the void. However, many locals also traveled out of town to other stores, including to Walmart in Littleton, NH. Other people turned to the internet for goods.
Convincing Walmart to settle in Derby wasn’t easy, and it was no easier to obtain the permits to allow it to settle there. Ground was broken for the store on October 20, 2015. One of the people at the ground breaking was then 97-year-old Gisele Seymour of Derby. She and her now late husband, Bill Seymour, led a partition drive to help convince Walmart come to Derby. Now 98, Gisele was at today’s grand opening. She was given the honor of cutting the ceremonial ribbon. The drive leading from the Derby Road to the store is also named in her honor – Seymour Lane.
Only time will tell what the Walmart store, which employs about 300 people, will mean to the region – good and/or bad – but for now, many local people are enjoying a new shopping option. The following are some photos of the grand opening.
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