After five long months of renovations that began in late May, Sam’s Club in Medford recently reopened for its first normal day of business since late spring.
After an early morning ceremony, which included donations to various local charities, churches and schools, such as Mercy Center Ministries, the Special Olympics of New York and Longwood High School, the store opened for “business as usual,” according to club manager Alvin Bowen.
“The biggest challenge for us during the process was that during construction the club continued to move every day so the members had trouble finding things,” Bowen said. “So what we would do was send associates out there to help them find what they were looking for to make it a pleasant shopping experience.”
Running the day-to-day operations of Sam’s Club was a difficult enough job for Bowen, and the ongoing construction made things even tougher. He’s just glad it’s finally done.
“It was a huge relief because I felt like I had two jobs,” he said. “I felt like I was a construction manager and a club manager – and I don’t have any background in construction so it was definitely different for me. It was very challenging and I’m very relieved that it is over.”
Bowen laid out the changes the club made – a challenging assortment or renovations and construction that touched nearly every area of Sam’s.
“We renovated all the floors – all the floors were in bad shape – and we have a new photo area, a new hearing aid center, a tire area, a service desk, café, rotisserie, new freezers, a new associate lounge and new administration offices,” he said, rattling off the list in quick succession.
Bowen, who has been with the club for eight years, said from the moment the ceremony ended Sam’s was ready for the holiday shopping season.
“The club is ready to go, business as usual,” he said. “Besides the ceremony this is how the club is every day – ready for the members and just ready to take care of the folks who want to join us for a quality shopping experience.”