BURLINGTON – Coffey County Economic Development Director, Stacy Haines, contacted Walmart Realty within the last week seeking information and to pass along a complaint about the tall grass surrounding the building. Wal-Mart officials told her a group of the recently closed stores were going up for bid with a group of buyers. Little information was available about the bid and Wal-Mart officials could not confirm whether the Burlington store was included in the bulk sale.
During a follow up call yesterday, Haines learned that the Burlington location was not included in the bulk sale.
Wal-Mart could not give any specifics as to the identity of the bulk buyers or why the Burlington building was not chosen, but they did speculate that our population size may not have met the specifications of the buyers, or that the buyers have operations in our area already.
Within the next few weeks, Wal-Mart will set a list price and partner with a brokerage firm to begin marketing locally and to other retailers through trade shows that Wal-Mart representatives will attend.
Haines said, “I have provided the Wal-Mart officials with information on our community to use in their conversations and marketing efforts with retailers and developers. It is their desire to find a business that will be a good fit for our community, and provide jobs and taxes back into our county.”
Coffey County Economic Development will work closely with Wal-Mart on this marketing initiative and will be in close communication with their designated official as this process continues.
“While being a part of the bulk sale would have been beneficial, it doesn’t mean we are out of luck,” Haines said. “This gives us an opportunity to have more influence and involvement moving forward through a partnership with Wal-Mart to market and recruit the right business for our community. It also opens the doors for local developers to become involved, for small businesses to expand, and for entrepreneurs to kick off their business.”
The Burlington Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market closed permanently the end of January 2016 after a portfolio review and reorganization within Wal-Mart. Approximately 35 jobs were lost after the store had only been open just over a year in its location on the south side of Burlington.