Oxford’s Sam’s Club slated to open summer of 2014
by Eddie Burkhalter
After five years of waiting, Oxford will get a Sam’s Club, says the parent company, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

The company announced in 2008 plans to locate one of the membership-only retail stores at the Oxford Exchange.

The city spent $2.6 million to prepare the site, but construction never began.

Controversy arose at the site in 2009 when the city began digging around an ancient Native American rock mound atop a hill behind the Exchange. The dirt was intended as fill for the proposed Sam’s Club.

In 2011, the city transported rocks from that mound to a location near the city’s proposed sports complex. That work fulfilled part of an agreement between Oxford and the Muscogee Creek Nation Indian tribe.

Wal-Mart declined to comment at that time if the delay in construction was due to a sluggish economy, but Sam’s Club closed 10 underperforming stores nationwide in January 2010.

“I don’t have a lot of details, but I can confirm that we anticipate starting construction in the near future and plan to open in the summer of 2014,” Mark Scott, manager of public relations for Sam’s Club, wrote in an email to The Star today.

“Oxford and the surrounding area is a dynamic community, and we are excited about the opportunity to open our new Sam’s Club in Oxford next year,” Scott wrote.

The store will create about 175 new jobs, Scott wrote, and will be the 14th Sam’s Club in Alabama.

Staff writer Eddie Burkhalter: 256-235-3563. On Twitter @Burkhalter_Star.

© 2013