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28 August 2014

Wal Mart Manager to Community Leaders: Old National Store Hasn't Made a Profit Since It Opened

At a recent meeting with south Fulton community leaders, the store manager for Wal Mart on Old National Highway revealed some disturbing news for area residents.

The Wal Mart, located at 6149 Old National Highway in unincorporated south Fulton County, has not turned a profit since the store opened in 2006.

Saliou Gaye, who became manager of the store in July 2013, provided the information at a 19 August 2014 meeting of the Old National Area Residents United community group.

Gaye also revealed his store has a high employee turnover rate; and is frequented by consumers who often attempt to buy more than they can afford, leading the Wal Mart to set aside several shopping carts full of un-purchased food.

The lack of profitability at the Old National Wal Mart supercenter is sure to raise concerns about how long the business can remain open in a corridor that has seen other merchants close up shop nearly as soon as they opened.

Discount clothing store Ross Dress for Less, which occupied a building near Wal Mart, is no longer open.

Including the former Ross location, there is 41,467 square feet of vacant retail space in the Old National Town Center shopping center, which sits adjacent to the Wal Mart supercenter.

Fulton County Commissioner Bill Edwards, who represents the area, conceded at a May 2014 community meeting that Ross Dress for Less had closed, but he said it was due to lack of support from the community.

"We can keep a chicken shack, nail shop, and liquor store in business, but we can't keep a Ross," Edwards said. "Ross didn't have the sales to stay open."

The Old National/Flat Shoals corridor features two liquor stores, four chicken restaurants, two nail shops, two beauty supply stores, and a barber shop.

If the report from manager Saliou Gaye is any guide, the chicken shacks and nail shops on Old National may survive while his Wal Mart supercenter perishes.