A flurry of activity started inside the new Sawmill Road Walmart at the end of April.
With five weeks between getting into the store and the grand opening, employees are busy setting up shelving, stocking and getting the Walmart at 7730 Sawmill Road ready to welcome customers May 30.
The 176,000-square-foot Walmart in Olde Sawmill Center plans to open for business May 30 with specials, giveaways and activities for children.
"We'll have surprise giveaways and be sampling root beer floats," said Jim Davis, store manager.
"There will be face-painting for the kids."
The store's grand opening is slated for 7:30 a.m. May 30 with the public allowed into the store for the first time at about 8 a.m.
When construction began, the store opening was slated for early June.
Despite a cold and wet winter that delayed work, construction finished ahead of schedule.
"They were behind and then all of a sudden, bam," Davis said, "we were able to get in one week early."
Employees have been stocking shelves with food, clothing, electronics, home wares and other offerings.
"It's like watching a newborn grow," Davis said.
The Olde Sawmill Walmart will offer thousands of items, similar to offerings at other central Ohio stores, Davis said.
"We offer guns here," he said. "We're one of the first Columbus stores to do that."
The new business also has a vision center, pharmacy, Subway, garden center and Smart Style haircut shop, as well as a site-to-store desk for online orders by the front doors.
"The main thing is to offer people a great value so they can save money," Davis said.
Walmart plans to employ 300 at the new store and some hiring is still being done.
"We employ some people that live in the neighborhood," Davis said, adding that many of the management team have moved up the ladder from hourly employee jobs.
Davis himself has been with Walmart for 13 years and spent seven as a manager.
He worked at the Marysville Walmart before overseeing the opening of the Olde Sawmill store.
"I just want people to be able to come in and get what they need," Davis said.
"If I can't provide for them, I'm not doing my job."
After the May 30 opening the Sawmill Road Walmart will be open 24-hours a day, with the exception of Christmas Day.