Town of Unicoi planners OK Walmart’s new color scheme

Brad Hicks • Mar 12, 2013 at 9:11 AM

UNICOI — Like other locations across the country, the Walmart in the town of Unicoi is in line for a facelift, and the town’s planning commission approved the store’s new color scheme as it was proposed at its Monday meeting.

Columbus, Ohio-based consultant Joel West, representing Walmart, was present at Monday’s meeting, and he advised members of the commission that Walmart is upgrading its stores across the country and Unicoi’s location has come up for a general remodel.

“Primarily, that consists of all-interior improvements,” West said. “So they will be reviewing the store and identifying anything on the interior that needs to be refurbished, repaired or replaced within probably the next months.”

As part of its remodeling effort, West said Walmart is looking to upgrade and update its branding, which includes facade changes at its stores. West said Walmart has proposed an “earth tone-type palette” for its stores. The primary facade of stores would be a light tan color called Dromedary camel. The “badge” that surrounds the entrance of the Unicoi store would be changed to a darker brown. The proposed changes also call for the rear and sides of the building to be a tan color darker than the primary facade.

West some concessions were made when the Unicoi store was built to eliminate Walmart’s typical blue coloring and take it more toward a green coloring, but he said the proposed brown and tan coloring is being proposed to provide Walmart with consistency and make stores more easily recognizable.

“The reason why they’re doing this is to maintain consistency across stores so anybody across the United States instantly recognizes this as a Walmart store,” he said.

Signage at the store would also be replaced or removed to make it more aesthetically appealing, West said. “Complimentary signage,” or the small signs on the front of stores that advertise services offered at stores, such as one-hour photo and pharmacy, will be removed, West said. Signage on the front of the building would be replaced with Walmart’s new logo, as well as a market and pharmacy sign above the entryway. A sign has also been proposed to be placed on the building’s left side so the store is identifiable from Interstate 26.

Per the proposed changes, the store’s pylon sign would also be updated to feature Walmart’s latest logo against a blue background rather than the tan and brown color scheme of the store.

“The reason why this is blue is that is still part of their branding package, they definitely identify Walmart, in particular, with the signage,” West said. “The blue stands out, especially when it’s painted on plastic, a plastic sign. Of course, when it’s illuminated you can see it real well.”

The store’s monument sign located along its entrance would also be upgraded to match the store’s color scheme, West said.

West said Walmart would likely come in to seek approval of its building plans for the Unicoi store some time in April or May. From there, he said construction could begin in mid-summer and conclude approximately two months from when it begins.

The planning commission unanimously approved the proposed color changes with the recommendation that Walmart also consider placing signage on the rear of the building. It also approved a motion to have West request that Walmart use a earth tone more in line with the store’s colors for the background of the pylon sign, rather than the proposed blue. The commission also approved a third motion to have West ask that the roof of the building, which can be seen from Interstate 26, be altered to match the proposed color changes to the store.

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