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Walmart says shuttered Brandon store will reopen in 60 days; hiring to begin

The Brandon Walmart at 1208 E Brandon Blvd was force to close its doors in April because of plumbing problems according to a company statement, resulting in the layoffs of nearly 430 people. Walmart says the store will now re-open in about two months and that they are hiring. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times
The Brandon Walmart at 1208 E Brandon Blvd was force to close its doors in April because of plumbing problems according to a company statement, resulting in the layoffs of nearly 430 people. Walmart says the store will now re-open in about two months and that they are hiring. OCTAVIO JONES | Times
Published Sep. 4, 2015

BRANDON — The first indication came last week when "Walmart Hiring" signs popped up in front of the chain's store at 1208 E Brandon Blvd.

Then Walmart made it official on Wednesday, announcing that the superstore that abruptly closed in April will reopen in about 60 days and is now hiring for certain positions.

"We're pleased to say that while the process to conduct plumbing repairs and store upgrades is still ongoing, our goal is to begin serving customers by late October or early November," Walmart spokesperson William Wertz wrote in an email.

"We are now ready to officially begin the hiring process. This includes communicating with associates that have transferred to surrounding area stores and encouraging all others interested in exploring employment opportunities with Walmart to also apply."

Walmart came under fire from employees after the sudden closure of the Brandon store and four others across the nation. It cited plumbing problems for each closure, but some employees argued they should have received more notice. A group of more than 100 protested in front of the store weeks after the closing.

Since the April 13 closure, company officials said workers at the Brandon store have been repairing or replacing sagging and damaged plumbing lines and refrigeration equipment throughout the building.

Walmart officials previously said the Brandon store was chosen for quick repairs because it recorded one of the highest number of complaints and issues within its chain of stores.

In addition to replaced plumbing and a new roof, the fixtures and departments inside the store will be updated and a new 4,000-square-foot liquor store will be added.

"We thank the community for their patience as we work through these issues and are excited to give our customers a store that better reflects the shopping experience we are providing today in other markets across the country," Wertz wrote.