A WALMART store will install a drastic feature to combat retail theft.
One location in downtown Atlanta, Georgia will include a police station inside the store when it reopens its doors.
This substation has been added to reduce the risk of theft and violence, according to Fortune Magazine.
The store in Vine City was burned down last December and has remained closed until now but is scheduled to open in May 2024.
It is thought that the fires were intentionally started to allow thieves to steal more merchandise, according to the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department.
Their statement said: “Investigators believe the suspects intentionally set the fires to create a distraction, allowing the offenders to shoplift items and escape as patrons rushed to exit the burning stores.”
This closure turned the surrounding area into a food desert, meaning it became difficult to buy affordable and nutritious foods.
The store’s format will also change as the company has decided to build a smaller store.
This location will only include essentials like food and pharmaceuticals and will not include extras that Walmart superstores would usually have, like electronics or clothes.
Walmart’s Director of Real Estate, Jessica Howel, said: “One of the biggest changes you will see from shopping here as opposed to shopping in the supercenter is you will see the grocery offering as soon as you walk in the building.
“We will also have a full-service deli counter, and also a prepared foods section.”
A grocery store representative, Kelvin Buncum, added: “This is something we are going to do in Atlanta that we haven’t done anywhere else.
“So, it’s going to be one of the first wellness stores that we’re going to build and simply put this is going to be a grocery store.”
This Downtown Atlanta store is in a low-income neighborhood and residents say they have struggled due to a scarcity of nearby grocery stores, according to Fortune Magazine.
One person said: “This dystopian af.”
Another viewer referenced the store’s essentials-only setup by reminiscing on the large Walmart superstore they used to go to.
“When I was a kid Wal-Mart had arcades, salons, McDonald’s and sometimes a Claire’s.”
Another TikToker said: “That’s nothing new, we have one that has a literal shed in the parking lot that is a substation.”
A user replied and said: “It’s new to Atlanta.”