Altadena Businesses Divided on Walmart’s Effects

Some Altadena businesses fear they will suffer, while others anticipate increased customers when the Walmart Neighborhood Market opens, according to a Southern California Public Radio series.

Is the Walmart Neighborhood Market coming to Altadena a good thing?

While residents are divided about the presence of Walmart, as reported in previous Patch pieces, local businesses also have differing opinions about the chain and are not unanimously opposed.

“It will actually bring in more traffic to the area," Jim’s Burgers owner Amir Siddiqi told Southern California Public Radio in a series about the anticipated effects of Walmart on Altadena businesses. “More traffic means … people shopping more and getting more aware of Altadena."

But other Altadena businesses fear the worst.

Williams Perera, who owns Agua Pura Vida on Lincoln Avenue, expressed to SCPR that since the bulk of what he sells is water, soda and ice and Walmart sells all of that and more, the shop he and his wife opened five years ago could be history.

Altadena Chamber of Commerce board member Daniel Harlow challenged Altadena’s Walmart opposition in a Patch blog on Friday, echoing that the new store could help bring more foot traffic to other businesses.

“Seeking to stimulate business growth in Altadena while opposing the Walmart Neighborhood Market is disingenuous,” said Harlow.

“Altadena needs small businesses that reflect the personality of our neighborhoods, however that just isn’t possible without a mix of larger chains to provide the initial draw. Just look at Old Town Pasadena or the South Lake Shopping District—not only do you have small businesses thriving, but you also have major national retailers as anchors.”

Do you think the Walmart Neighborhood Market will be a positive or negative thing overall for Altadena businesses? Do you think it will help bring in more foot traffic?

Ivan G October 31, 2012 at 05:01 AM
It will bring more business-related traffic, but not much pedestrian traffic initially, because there are not many businesses other than a liquor store nearby. I am more interested in the benfit to residents.
The Wilson's November 03, 2012 at 06:16 PM
We are happy Walmart is coming to our town. That will stop the small businesses from charging us a arm and leg on everyday items. And it will bring jobs for our locals. Hurray!
Eric Z. and co. November 05, 2012 at 06:22 AM
Altadena has the quality and character that it does because of local small businesses, and a pleasant lack of corporate blight. We moved here 23 years ago because Altadena is unique, beautiful, has a small town feel, and has local businesses. If we want to shop for cheap chinese sweat-shop goods that drive local American small businesses out of existence then I can drive just a few minutes further in any direction and save a few measly dollars buying cheap junk from overseas. Walmart is also notorious for treating it's workers unfairly and with poor working conditions.... just like the oppressed factory workers in China who make the junk Walmart sells. And traffic? You want more traffic in Altadena? Why are you here? Go away.
Lori A. Webster November 09, 2012 at 10:15 PM
As a local retailer, I can assure you we are not charging you an arm and a leg. We simply don't receive the same low wholesale prices these big box stores do - in fact, they pressure their manufacturers and vendors to give them the prices they specify, which hurts the industry and drives prices higher for other retailers, like us. We attempt to keep our prices down, but because we can't offer you the same prices Walmart does, we are perceived as price gougers. What independent, locally owned retailers do offer you is attentive personal service, quality, hand-picked (a high percentage locally made, in our case) goods at reasonable prices and the dollars spent at our businesses stays in Altadena - our profits are not sent back to another state or to Europe. We are firm believers in keeping your money where your house is.


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