The hustle and bustle of construction at the new University Commons shopping complex near the UT campus is continuing, but as opening day gets closer, the work is now picking up inside the stores.
Walmart employees are taking shipments and stocking shelves in the first new store in the Knoxville-area in several years. They are set to open on August 6.
The University Commons store is unique because of it's urban location and smaller size. You won't find an automotive department, lawn and garden section, deli, or bakery at this store.
But because of it's proximity to campus, you'll find items that cater more to UT students and fans.
"We have a wide selection of University of Tennessee merchandise including apparel and souvenir type merchandise. items such as car flags, or t-shirts and things you might need for the game. We also have an expanded assortment of cosmetics and the largest set of electronics that the company offers," said Janet Bales, the store's manager who is also a UT graduate.
That UT merchandise will also include some gear designed by UT students and produced by local business Bacon and Company.
Another thing that makes this store unique? The parking garage and the elevators and escalators customers will use to access them.
"A great thing about having a parking garage, even if it's snowing at Christmas or raining, you can stay dry," said Bales.
In addition to the Walmart, grocery store Publix is also set to open later this summer. Fresh To Order, Great Clips, Blush Boutique, Jersey Mike's, and a UT store will also open in the complex, which is located off Kingston Pike adjacent to the UT campus.