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Heard on the Street: Walmart North's remodel to wrap up in May

Retail mammoth Walmartsays it’s spending $35 million to remodel 10 Minnesota stores this year and that includes a revamp of Rochester’s north store as well as Red Wing’s store.

"At Walmart, we’re constantly looking to invest in new technology and innovations that will improve the retail experience," said Walmart regional general manager Matt Armigerin the Minnesota announcement last week.

Work has been underway at Rochester’s North Walmart at 3400 55th St. NW, and it’s entering the home stretch, according to Manager Tony Talbot.

"We’re going to have a grand opening on May 18," he said.

The remodel of the store was extensive.

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All of the flooring was pulled up and the concrete underneath was polished as a more environmentally friendly treatment, said Talbot.

New refrigeration units were added to the frozen food area and to the store’s back storage area.

A new mother’s room was added to the back of the store and a new "money center" was built in the front of the complex.

Walmart also upgraded all of the checkout lines and expanded the number self checkout stations.

Talbot says there now are 26 lines for people who want to check out themselves. Some of the new checkout stations are longer ones with the traditional conveyor belts for customers buying larger numbers of items.

Biz buzz

While it’s a snowy spring in the Med City, the forecast is for a bouncy summer.

Construction crews have been busy revamping the former Big Lots warehouse/store at 1607 U.S. 14 East.

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The plan is to transform the 32,000-square-foot building into Air Insanity , an entertainment and party center filled with trampoline features.

Air Insanity is the creation of Rochester’s Scott and Katrina Pulham.

It will feature a 5,000-square-foot open jump trampoline arena, a dodgeball court, an "Insane Airbag," slam dunk zones, a battle beam, a "Fidget Ladder," an obstacle course, a climbing wall, laser maze area, a Nerf Zone, a toddler area, concessions plus four party rooms.

The Pulhams expect to have Air Insanity ready to open for business and bouncing in July.

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