Sam Shepley, manager of Wal-Mart, 2727 Iowa, has decided to check out of the retail business and head for a new career in insurance.
Shepley, who has been manager at the store since it opened in 1983, said that he presented the company with his resignation Friday. His last day will be Nov. 1.
Shepley said today he has told employees that the new manager would be Bobby Jones, who has managed Wal-Mart's store in Ottawa for several years. Jones will be in Lawrence by Nov. 1, he said.
The local store, which contains 86,396 square feet, was one of the largest Wal-Mart stores when it opened. It now has about 269 hourly employees, 12 management employees and 12 unfilled positions, bringing its full employment to 293, Shepley said.
COMPANY POLICY requires that 60 percent of the hourly employees are full-time workers, he said. Wal-Mart has more than 1,250 stores in 26 states.
Like Jones, Shepley had been with the Wal-Mart store in Ottawa before coming to Lawrence in December 1982 to get the local store ready for operation. It opened Feb. 1, 1983.
Shepley, 44, said he is leaving the company on "very good" terms.
"I want to slow down a little bit, stop and smell the roses and live the comfortable Lawrence lifestyle that I see others living," he said. "I'm doing this to spend more time with my family and get more involved with the community."
He said he will join David Tackett's Farmers Insurance Group agency, in the Park Plaza shopping center, 27th and Iowa. Shepley said he will open his own insurance agency at a later date.