Following pressure from other businesses in the City of College Place, the venerable Walmart has decided to follow suit and close its doors Friday afternoon, to reopen on Saturday evening. College Place, built around the Seventh-day Adventist Institution, Walla Walla University, has been long known for businesses closing their doors on the Adventist Sabbath. While other unique aspects of the town, such as the difficulty in finding a caffeinated soda or beef jerky have faded, Saturday now seems to have gained some traction.
"It gives our facilities a chance to rest," says Store Manager, Warren Wimple. "We also didn't feel that it was fair to other businesses in the area. Besides when you look at the recent economic climate, keeping our store open 24 hours and 7 days a week has become a luxury." We interviewed a local businessman, who preferred to be called Andy. He had this to say, "This is a strongly positive and unexpected step for a large company like Walmart. We praise their actions to keep College Place as free of distractions as possible while people should be in church."
Many of those we interviewed were incredulous, "What a crock!" said Mr. McDonald panhandling in front of the store. "What am I supposed to do? Hold my sign in the church parking lot? Are you kidding?"
Despite several angry responses Mr. Wimple responds, "customers will have to prepare for the weekend on Friday or wait until after sundown."