Students are scrambling to complete their school shopping as crews of workers and the Wal-Mart employees themselves take on the task of restoring the store.
According to WSFA 12, a spokesperson for Wal-Mart has said that the Troy Wal-Mart will not be completely reopened for a few months.
The grocery section and a temporary pharmacy are said to be opened much sooner, though exact dates for any of these events are not given at this time.
Within Troy, options for shopping in the meantime include: two locations for Piggly Wiggly, two locations for Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Rite Aid, Walgreens, CVS and Food World.
Among these stores, there isn’t a single one that boasts the inventory of Wal-Mart alone, but the basics, such as groceries, toiletries, pharmacies, room decorations and storage and school supplies, are covered across the board.
Troy University has taken this fact into consideration with the revision of its bus route that previously ran to Wal-Mart several times a week.
“We have a temporary plan in place,” said Megan Simon, international student adviser. “We will still run the bus, but it will have a different route.”
Simon said that the bus will run this Thursday as regularly scheduled, but will first take students to Fred’s, where it will wait for 30 minutes.
The bus then departs for the Food World shopping center, where students can shop at either Food World or Dollar Tree for one hour, after which it will return to campus.
“If it is really necessary, they can go to Walgreens also,” she said.
“We’ve definitely had an influx of business,” said Thomas Wooley, assistant manager at the Piggly Wiggly located directly off Highway 231. “We had one of the busiest weekends of the year.”
“We are ordering a lot more of everything we carry,” Wooley said of preparations the store is making to accommodate the new shoppers.
As for Wal-Mart, some of the employees remain working while the building is still inoperable.
“The employees will be part of the cleanup crew at the store, cleaning up debris from outside and wherever the inside is cleared by OSHA,” said Jonothan Ray, a senior social science education major from Georgiana and a Wal-Mart employee.
Professional crews are handling other aspects of the restoration, such as repairing electrical lines and metal support beams, according to Ray.
“The employees that are not fit (too elderly, sick, medical issues) to be a part of the cleanup crew are given the opportunity to go to other Wal-Mart stores in the area to work there until the Troy store is reopened,” Ray said.
“Since Wal-Mart is closed I’ll be splitting up my shopping — grocery shopping at Piggly Wiggly, and personal essentials from Dollar General,” he said.