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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?

Daniel E. Harlow February 28, 2013 at 12:27 AM
Hmm turns out pellet and BB guns can be shipped to your house, you do not even need to go into the store. Amazon will ship them to the privacy of your own home too! So will a dozen of other retailers.
Lisa Maiorana February 28, 2013 at 02:39 AM
Sorry to burst your bubble but I don't have a Mom and Pop business. I'm an independent business owner that travels to my clients home for Nutrition Planning, of which Walmart doesn't sell the last time I checked. I want people to eat better, Walmart has that and cheaper too. Do you like people in Altadena not being able to afford fresh, healthy groceries because I don't. 24 hr. fitness does not provide Nutrition planning either, so strike two. I don't need any business from you or any other old closed minded hippy as I'm doing great providing Nutrition Planning to schools, churches and YMCA's for free of charge.
Lisa February 28, 2013 at 04:26 PM
I personally think its time to start bringing in more chain stores on Lincoln! All these mom and pop stores bring in nothing but trouble. Especially places like Ivan mentioned... Liquor stores, check cashing places, etc. This area has gone down tremendously in the past couple of years and I think bringing in chain stores will help boost and clear out some of the rift raff. Not to mention they will offer ben efits which most people in the area dont have or offer. Its time for a change and these "mom and pop" stores arent doing anything about it let alone helping the situation. For example, Subway and Panda Express have been doing well on Lincoln. How many "mom and pop" shops have closed down right next door. Verizon as well is doing good. Maybe putting a Starbucks or Jamba Juice right in between would be a good idea, especially since there is a gym right across the street. Stores like these will bring in the money to the area. I think a change is WELL OVER DUE!!! With all you guys opposing Wal-mart just means there will be more parking for us as well as less lines. I guarantee you more then half of the neighborhood will be in line tomorrow morning!!!
disturbed. February 28, 2013 at 05:08 PM
Lisa you are right on! It's like breathing fresh air amidst the suffocating stuffiness of freedom-bashing haters. We all shouted hooray in my house this morning when we saw the opening date. We've been living paycheck to paycheck, and while this won't solve it- it will alleviate our condition somewhat. Yay for Walmart!!!
disturbed. February 28, 2013 at 05:08 PM
Lisa you are right on! It's like breathing fresh air amidst the suffocating stuffiness of freedom-bashing haters. We all shouted hooray in my house this morning when we saw the opening date. We've been living paycheck to paycheck, and while this won't solve it- it will alleviate our condition somewhat. Yay for Walmart!!!
Chris February 28, 2013 at 06:06 PM
I only shop at Whole Foods, Gelsons and our nice little farmers market on Wednesdays. Our local choices are a bit pedestrian.
Linda Brooks February 28, 2013 at 07:34 PM
HERE' Here to S.Dawson's comment!! The consumer ALWAYS has the real power. I have always supported local, owner operated businesss in Altadena and elsewhere. As a former store owner I know first hand how important customer loyality is. Choose if you want you hard earned dollars to go back into our community or into the pockets and a HUGE corporation. Linda Brooks
Steve and Joannie February 28, 2013 at 10:08 PM
WOW hate is a strong word.
Sugarhoneyicetea February 28, 2013 at 10:22 PM
plain and simple you dont like Walmart then dont shop there ... but eventually you'll break down and go, you altadena resitdents are a little butt hurt for the time being......
Lori A. Webster February 28, 2013 at 11:43 PM
Brandon, I think that if you take the time to meet our independent business owners, you'll find that we're all a pretty nice bunch, and working hard to serve our community. Many of us donate to local charities, non-profits, Little Leagues, churches, etc., on an on-going basis. What I'd like to have everyone understand is that the more you patronize the independent businesses here, the better we'll be able to serve you, the more we'll be able to give, and that there truly is a "multiplier effect" when you spend at local businesses. Understand that big corporate stores will not use a local accountant, pay for local printing, or buy from hyper-local sources - all this increases a community's fiscal health and keeps your money circulating in it, working for you, because your property values increase when that happens. When more people patronize a local business, the more they'll be able to get better deals and lower prices, which is also better for you. Most of all, independent retailers, like us, offer freedom of choice. Do you want to be regulated to buying something that's sold by thousands of big box stores across the country? How much nicer to be able to buy something unique that not everyone else has? The same could be said about our smaller grocery stores and farmer's markets as well.
Linda R March 01, 2013 at 12:42 AM
Well, I have and so have others I know.....it is not on my list at all and never will be.
rebel mamma March 01, 2013 at 12:48 AM
The reason that corner was "blighted" was because the property owner refused to fix the roof for the previous tenants and let the property fall into disrepair. He has vowed to "take revenge" on Altadena because previous developments of his properties (a MacDonald's on Lake among others) had been stopped. This guy is the worst.
rebel mamma March 01, 2013 at 12:55 AM
A few outspoken activists? Save Altadena collected over 2500 signatures in a very limited time. That is a bit more than a few. Just wait until the 2nd Walmart opens next to Ralph's on Lake. We will see more people oppose Walmart.
Ivan G March 01, 2013 at 01:03 AM
Iam glad you can afford those places. Many people can't -- especially those who live near Lincoln and Figueroa.
Lisa Maiorana March 01, 2013 at 04:17 AM
All these people will go, are you kidding me? If they don't they' make someone else sneak in for them. Why would you pay 3x as much for something down the street when you can get it for cheaper? Oh yea, if you're rich and not concerned about the economy. News Flash: PEOPLE CAN'T AFFORD TO PAY THEIR BILLS LET ALONE PUT FOOD ON THE TABLE ANYMORE!!! It's here to stay my friends, live with it ;)
not Carl Peterson lll March 01, 2013 at 06:38 AM
Are some Walmart employees on welfare a product of low wages..... ....or a too liberal welfare program?
Sequoya March 01, 2013 at 07:21 AM
I will never and have never shopped at MalWart. Never.
not Carl Peterson lll March 01, 2013 at 08:17 AM
Sequoya, Would you, could you,go there, or get there..... on a boat? with a goat. in the rain. on a train. in a tree! in a box. with a fox. in a house. with a mouse. here or there. Would you go with sam to Walmart anywhere? Try them, try them, and you will see....
Chris March 01, 2013 at 04:46 PM
Many of you are the reasons nothing new will open here. Who cares if Walmart comes in? I don't have to shop there. If you don't, then don't. If others want to/need to, why stop them? Walmart is disgusting. Then again, so is McDonalds but for different reasons. I don't eat there buy I'm not going to try and stop them from either opening a store or telling people not to get fat eating there. All of you anti-this or that are wasting your time. You're not going to change anything. Perhaps you're the same people who thought that b.s. visioning workshop the county wasted money on would do something positive. It seems as effective as the town council.
Jane March 01, 2013 at 06:00 PM
As many posters have already pointed out, Walmart has an alarming track record on labor issues, food quality, etc. I will never shop there for political reasons, and because of the poor food quality. But beyond the Walmart issue, it's disappointing that Altadena residents who want organic produce or non-carcinogenic household products simply can't find many of those things in Altadena. If you want to avoid processed food, and carcinogens in food, cleaning supplies, bath products, etc, then Super King, Ranch Market, and Ralphs aren't options either. I buy as much as I can at Oh Happy Days and Webster's, and we attend the Altadena farmer's market every week. But still we must go to Whole Foods for organic dairy products, organic coffee, and assorted non-carcinogenic household supplies. I'm holding my breath for the Arroyo Food Co-op, though it seems there is no guarantee that it will be in Altadena. I suppose what I am saying is that the Walmart seems like the most recent addition to a general pattern of keeping our local consumer options unhealthy.
Daniel E. Harlow March 01, 2013 at 07:05 PM
While I did not look specifically for the organic items you listed, you might give them a chance and see, supposedly they are one of the largest retailers of non-produce organic foods in the nation. Also I have been told, if there is a demand for these items they will carry them, so lets see if that is true. In addition you point out a huge area were our small businesses could be serving, so any of them reading this should take note.
Ivan G March 01, 2013 at 07:15 PM
You can buy organic milk at most supermarkets these days. I think Trader Joe's carries it, and Walmart may, too. Walmart also carries some organic produce. You ought to keep in mind that many of the people who live near the new Walmart do not have the money to shop for organic foods. No expensive market is going to open a store in that area. The likely reason you perceive "a general pattern of keeping our local consumer options unhealthy" is simply that your preferences are the exception rather than the rule. There is not enough of a demand for the products you want in Altadena. Most Altadena residents drive through Pasadena regularly and so can buy organic products at any of several Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and Sprouts. On the other hand, residents of other communities have no reason to drive to Altadena to shop.
Angela Odom March 01, 2013 at 10:53 PM
I'm with you Jane. Like you, I shop at Oh Happy Days, Sprouts and Whole Foods. It would be nice to shop for more items locally. I've given up on the Altadena Farmers' Market because it's the wrong hours on the wrong day and I just can't get there. That said, I will stop by Walmart's to see what kind of organic fruits and veggies they have. It certainly would be nice to get some fresh organic fruits and veggies two minutes from home. That's a big selling point for me.
Lisa Maiorana March 02, 2013 at 02:06 AM
& a study just came out recently that said organic foods ARE NOT any healthier than any other type of food, look people, you can get cancer from breathing our air, touching register receipts & even drinking coffee, are you all going to stop those things too? Not everyone can afford to sit around and bit#@ & complain while on our high horses. We've got a budget to adhere to and a family to feed.
JH Rogers March 03, 2013 at 07:15 PM
Yes, I will shop & support our Altadena WalMart. I will save money on food, household products and car gas by shopping a few blocks from home.
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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