It is a beautiful sight to watch happy customers walk up and down the streets of Petworth with their arms loaded with toys in white paper bags with the large smiley face. The shopping bags are a clear sign to everybody that there’s a new Walmart in Petworth. Shopping for toys was much more difficult in 1993 when District of Columbia customers had to travel 30 miles round trip to the nearest Walmart store.
The Petworth Walmart saves District of Columbia Residents both gas and money. However, only Petworth residents of 20 years or more can truly appreciate the transformation that the new Walmart store brings to the neighborhood. Looking back over the development of Petworth for two decades the new Walmart adds a whole new dimension, not to mention 600 jobs.
In 1993, the toy that was the rage among every boy was the Batman action figure made popular by the Tim Burton movies: Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992). Burton made the Batman action figure a very popular toy. For a father teaching at two different universities it was a hectic Christmas shopping season and the time to shop for the action figure was limited. There was no Walmart on Georgia Avenue in 1993, making the drive to the Walmart in Bowie a necessity.
In the film, Jingle All The Way, Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a loving, but overworked, father who forgets his son’s action figure until Christmas Eve. The panic a parent faces over the failure to get a child’s favorite toy is real. Making the 30 mile round trip to the Walmart in Bowie was the answer to many forgotten Christmas gifts from 1993 to 2013. Being able to take the Metro a few blocks to the new Georgia Avenue Walmart is a convenience not lost on many longtime Petworth residents.
“The new Georgia Avenue Walmart is a blessing. I am looking forward to working with customers at this new store,” said Allan Carr, a long time Petworth residents who has applied for a position to be a greeter at the new Georgia Avenue store. Carr is not alone in his enthusiasm for the new Walmart. “I feel like a kid in a candy store,” said another happy Petworth customer.
The Walmart action figure was not only available in 1993; moreover it was durable. It still sits on the mantel 20 years later. The new Walmart in Petworth is located at 5929 Georgia Avenue, NW, in Petworth. For store hours go to: www.walmart.com. There is still time to get those action figures.