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Walmart Neighborhood Market Opens March 1: Are You Going?

Over 1,200 people applied for 65 jobs at the Altadena store that has sparked mixed local reaction. Do you plan to check it out?

The Walmart Neighborhood Market at Lincoln Avenue and Figueroa Drive will have its grand opening Friday, March 1, Walmart announced in a statement Thursday.

The store, which has elicited mixed response from Altadena residents and businesses, will be celebrating with a ribbon cutting and giveaways.

Food samples from different companies, as well as the Bimbo Bear will be on hand for the opening festivities that begin at 7:30 a.m. The store will open at 8 a.m. after a ribbon cutting.

Other giveaways, food character appearances and free family-friendly events will happen throughout that weekend.

Some local businesses, particularly those selling goods similar to those that will be found at the new Walmart Neighborhood Market, are among its detractors.

Williams Perera, who owns Agua Pura Vida on Lincoln Avenue, expressed to Southern California Public Radio in October 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. 

Neighbors Building a Better Altadena has also vocally opposed Walmart, saying that the store will hurt jobs since other businesses may close as a result of Walmart opening in the community.

Walmart opened a temporary hiring center in Altadena in December and received over 1,200 applications for 65 jobs being offered at the approximately 28,000-square-foot market.

“I’m excited to see this new Walmart Neighborhood Market open and occupy a building that has been vacant for nearly a decade,” said Altadena Town Council Chair Bernardean Broadous in the Walmart statement. “I believe this Neighborhood Market will offer a positive impact to the Altadena community as it has already created much needed good local jobs and contributed to local charitable organizations.” 

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation will present $6,500 in grants to local organizations such as John Muir High School, Andrew Jackson Elementary School, Mentoring and Partnership for Youth Development (MPYD) and Neighbors Acting Together Helping All (NATHA), Walmart shared.   

Altadena Chamber of Commerce President Ed Meyers echoed support in the release: “This new Walmart Neighborhood Market will offer Altadena residents another affordable and healthy grocery option in their community. Additionally, nearby businesses will also benefit from any increased foot-traffic.”

Do you plan to check out the new Walmart Neighborhood Market when it opens? Why or why not?

Justanotheropinion March 04, 2013 at 08:23 AM
Whether you like Walmart or not, the fact that 1200 ppl applied for 65 positions says a lot. Times are tough. Many people are out of work - skilled and unskilled. If you don't like Walmart's business model, don't shop there. If you can afford to pick and chose where you want to shop, then do so. However, for those folks that live on the West side of Altadena, Walmart's low prices and accessibility make a difference. Why should they be denied the ability to more easily provide for their family? I'm a socially conscious person, but when it comes to keeping my home going and kids fed, money talks. If you aren't in that position, consider yourself fortunate. I understand the plight of the small business owner, but their needs should not matter more than any one else's. Your dislike of Walmart should not hold more weight than those it can benefit. Those that want/need Walmart should not automatically prevail. Let free market be the guiding force. If Walmart doesn't have enough customers, it will be gone. If it thrives, it is because some segment of the Altadena population needs/wants it. It makes me sick that some folks who can and have want to deny those that have less. Some folks shop at Walmart because it is the best monetary option for them. I'm not a fan of Walmart's business practices and for the most part don't shop there. But I can't in good conscious deny others the ability to patronize Walmart if it is the best option for them.
Ivan G March 04, 2013 at 04:14 PM
Cogently stated.
Susan Foster de Quintana March 04, 2013 at 06:29 PM
Your post is very thoughtful, Tracey Hutson. I appreciate your concerns; I also appreciate that you minimize your shopping at Walmart because of their business practices, and that you want people to have resources available to them. What concerns me most is that Walmart is a major contributor to the increasing divide between "haves" and "have nots." They have helped to create the depressed economy, and they benefit from the depressed economy (as you noted--1200 people applying for 65 jobs). I don't have a lot of money, and I do understand trying to make ends meet. My husband and I are both self-employed in fields that aren't very busy right now, with a little social security for me. Still, we are more comfortable than a lot of folks, and we don't have children to feed. I don't want to deny anything to people who have less; I want to make choices that help lift them up to a higher standard of living. I've been there! and when I was, it was the small business owners who helped keep me afloat. I'd like to think that some purchasing pressure on a company that relies on the taxpayers to subsidize their employees (in spite of the fact that the six owners control more than 42% of the country's wealth) might help. I know of no other way to apply pressure to get them to improve their business practices; they already seem to own congress. If we truly let "free market" be the deciding force, we may soon be back to the days of the Company Store http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIfu2A0ezq0
not Carl Peterson lll March 05, 2013 at 12:01 AM
Obama nominates Wal-Mart's Burwell as budget chief http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_OBAMA_BUDGET_CHIEF?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-03-04-07-12-35
Ivan G March 05, 2013 at 08:28 PM
I went to the store last night. It is rather small (smaller than the Ralphs on Lake). It has small shopping carts. There were not many customers, but the employees were friendly and helpful. I wouldn't use it for food shopping except when I need to pick up something like milk or soda.

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