If the Minden Planning Commission approves, Minden’s Walmart will add 2,800 sq. feet on the side parking lot on the grocery side to be used as a training facility to help better promote customer service throughout stores in the region. The planning commission is set to meet at 10 a.m. Thursday at city hall. Bruce Franklin/Press-Herald

Minden’s Walmart Supercenter could become one of several academies with teaching staffs and students from nearby Supercenters the chain plans to open over the next two years.

The academy will serve as a training center for employees that operate stores around the region and will replace computer-based instruction with live training. The centers are Walmart’s attempts to provide better customer service throughout its stores.

“The training facility will help ensure more consistent, accurate and sustainable training to our associates,” Walmart communications director Anne Hatfield said. “That in turn results in a better shopping experience for our customers.”

Hatfield said the center is just part of the $2.7 billion dollar investment in their associates.

To accommodate the learning center, the store plans to add 2,800 square feet to the store in the side parking lot on the grocery side of the store, Mark Hankins, manger of the Minden location, said.
Before ground is broken on the expansion, city officials must approve a parking space variance for the retailer.

According to the city ordinance, five parking spaces are required for every 1,000 square feet of floor area for stores. The variance would allow the store to slightly reduce the number of parking spaces the ordinance requires.

The Minden Planning Commission will meet Thursday, April 7 at 10 a.m. in the Pelican Room at Minden City Hall to consider granting the variance.