The Socorro Walmart finished its four-month store remodel with a re-opening celebration Friday.

Along with updated floor plans, an online shopping service and more inventory, the store’s pharmacy has been expanded.

The store has never had a full remodel before. The last time it had a “refresh” with fresh paint and cosmetic updates was in 2010, said Store Manager Maria Gallegos.

“I have a lot of my associates who have been here since the first slab was laid and so it’s exciting to see them be able to experience this remodel,” she said.

The store employs 175 people. New staff was hired to help fill the 15 new shopper positions.

Pharmacy Manager Victoria Gutierrez is excited to have a patient consultation room.
Cathy Cook | El Defensor Chieftain

The shoppers gather goods for customers who shop online and then drive up so their car can be loaded with their purchases. The remodel includes a new freezer and cooler for the program.

The store did a trial version of the online shopping program in October, but with the full version, customers will be able to purchase all groceries, and items from across the store like plants and clothing. Gallegos thinks the online shopping service will be especially helpful for people who drive from communities like Datil or Magdalena to purchase groceries in Socorro because after the long drive, they won’t have to wander the store.

The pharmacy has also gotten a facelift with a new workbench, new bays with bigger windows and a new patient services room. The room will give customers more privacy for getting vaccines, said Pharmacy Manager Victoria Gutierrez. Before, the pharmacy used dividers to offer privacy.

The larger consultation window should give better interaction with patients, she said.

“I think it helps build that rapport and trust that you need as a health care provider, which is important because they’re more likely to take your advice on certain things,” said Gutierrez.

The pharmacy also has new services, including a program that syncs patient medications to reduce pharmacy visits.

The store is carrying new clothing brands, more accessories, more party supplies, more pet foods, expanded selections of alcohol and snacks, an expanded selection of camping gear, a line of Hart Tools and more shoes. New fixtures abound, from the floors to the electronics displays to the open concept self-checkout.

Groceries, sporting goods and electronics are some of the most shopped sections of the Socorro store, but Gallegos thinks with the new floor plan, new fitting rooms and new clothing lines, apparel is becoming a more popular section.

Other stores in the region are also remodeling, Peoples Operations Lead Carlos Garcia, including Gallup which recently remodeled and Belen which just started a remodel.

“I’m excited for a more modern store for the community,” said Garcia.