Beech Grove Wal-Mart works to change reputation following brawl

(WISH Photo)

BEECH GROVE, Ind. (WISH) — More cell phone video of Wal-Mart in Beech Grove surfaced, but this video is in stark contrast to the brawl in the shampoo aisle that went viral more than a year ago.

The most recent video captures a special re-opening ceremony. People gathered to pray for Wal-Mart and the city. The store was recently remodeled, and city officials hope it rids the shopping center of its tainted reputation.

When people in Beech Grove think Wal-Mart, the thoughts aren’t often positive.

“That fight. That’s the first thing that comes to mind, was that fight between them two women in there,” said Shawn Atherton, who lives in Beech Grove.

It’s hard to separate the Beech Grove Wal-Mart from the brawl, in which two women are seen fighting in the shampoo aisle. One had her young son and encouraged him to join. It was the fight heard round the world a little more than a year ago.

Fast forward to Friday morning. A group of people made up of employees, shoppers and city leaders gathered around while a preacher prayed inside the store.

Beech Grove Mayor Dennis Buckley was there. “It was very nice. I really liked it. He prayed about the past,” Buckley said.

The prayer was symbolic of a new beginning for the store and the city.

“There was a time when Wal-Mart really wasn’t good for us. I had no problem sitting at the table and telling Wal-Mart executives that,” Buckley explained.

Since the fight, Wal-Mart hired its own security for the store and put up fencing around the property. Buckley says theft runs for the police department have gone down 30 percent.

“The majority of that was due to shoplifting at Wal-Mart. So, they’ve done a nice job of identifying their problem and working with us to correct the problem,” he said.

“I hope it is,” Atherton added, “I hope a lot of people go in there. Maybe I’ll try going in there one day.”

Police say another reason theft runs are down is because Wal-Mart is handling many of the cases within the store and they’re not being reported.

Buckley says he plans to meet with Wal-Mart next week.

24-Hour News 8 reached out to Wal-Mart for a comment. We did not hear back..

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