There are scads of WalMart haters in the world, and all I can say to them is just keep on hatin’ – I’m ready to shop and save money.

The new 187,000 square-foot Super WalMart just opened this morning in Morganton, NC, and the parking lot was jam packed as I dropped by at 8:30am to buy some foam rubber to pad my camera bag. It’s located in the very nice new Morganton Heights shopping complex on Fleming Drive.

When I arrived it was almost festival-like. There were race car displays, free giveaways, free food, and I would guess at least 1,000 happy shoppers. Happy because they didn’t have to scruff around in the tiny WalMart we used to have over on Highway 64 – happy not to have to drive to Hickory or Lenoir to shop at a nice Super WalMart.

In the video below I interview one of the assistant managers, and take a first look at what is now one of the most state-of-the-art shopping centers in North Carolina. You’ll see lots of merchandise – and lots of space to move around. A significant drawback of the old WalMart was the narrow aisles that made for buggy traffic jams.

For the working-class folks who have to watch their money closely, this is a great day for Burke County and the Foothills of the Western Piedmont. You can save a bunch of cash just by shopping for groceries at a super Walmart. For those who still want to hate the mega-shopping centers, just consider that at least I’ll be spending nearly all my money in Burke County now – money that used to go mostly to Catawba County. I imagine the same holds true for thousands of others in Burke County and the surrounding region.

So stop hating and start loving. And get out and drop a few bucks on some cool affordable stuff!